About Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott
Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott (VISP) has been a part of the Prescott medical community and serving patients since 2010. We are a group of subspecialty radiologists that perform numerous minimally-invasive, low-risk procedures using the tools of our trade for guidance—x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. Our goal is to educate the public and medical community, then diagnose and treat people in the safest, most compassionate way, with rapid recovery times and low risk of complications.
Meet Our Doctors
The physicians at VISP offer a vast background and thorough experience in diagnostic and interventional radiology, specializing in minimally invasive procedures using image guidance. The subspecialty group also provides therapeutic treatment through specific procedures to help alleviate chronic and severe back pain.
Click here to learn more about the specialties of Dr. Dicker, Dr. Lloyd, and Dr. Paxton.
- Back – VISP offers an array of therapies to treat chronic and severe back pain such as caudal epidurals, nerve block procedures, sciatica epidurals, injections similar to a cortisone injection, and vertebral cement augmentation.
- Arterial – The physicians at VISP are vascular specialists who work with patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD) to provide treatments to correct narrowed or blocked vessels to ease blood circulation throughout the body.
- Vein – Patients will see our varicose vein specialists for top-level care to treat uncomfortable and painful varicose veins, spider veins and reticular veins. Vein ablation procedures are nonsurgical and provide a quick recovery time.
- Cancer – The interventional specialists at VISP perform specific cancer therapy treatments to help shrink the size of tumors in cancer patients. Learn more here about the types of therapies offered.
- Epidurals – An epidural injection is a method to deliver pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medicine to the epidural layer of the spine. VISP physicians use epidurals often to relieve severe back pain and chronic back pain in their patients.
- Nerve Blocks – Nerve block injections are used to alleviate pain by way of turning off the pain signal to the brain. The doctors at VISP use the nerve block procedure often in patients who are experiencing debilitating pain in their bodies. Learn more about the procedure here.
- Other – There are many procedures that we do at VISP with precision and care including implanting MediPorts, J Tube Placements, PICC Lines, IVC Filter Placement and Removal, Biopsies, and more.
Conditions We Treat
The hardworking and diligent team of physicians at VISP performs an array of diagnostic testing, procedures and treatment options for many conditions. Area physicians often refer to us because we are well-known and trusted to provide the best in care for our patients who are experiencing the following:
- Varicose Veins
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Pinched Nerves
- DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
- Arterial Blockages
- Arm and Leg Pain
Just the Facts: Peripheral Angiograms and How They Help With Vascular Disease
Just the Facts: Peripheral Angiograms and How They Help With Vascular Disease If you have been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), your doctor may recommend a peripheral angiogram. In the medical field, “peripheral” is used to denote conditions or procedures that are not centrally located near the “core” (heart, lungs, etc) of your body. With PAD, one or more arteries that bring the blood away from your heart, toward your legs are either blocked or at risk of becoming blocked. The blockage often causes pain and discomfort. A peripheral angiogram helps your doctor to further understand the extent of the disease in order to provide the most effective treatment plan designed for your specific needs. Peripheral angiograms can be used to see the arteries in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. Your treatment plan will be based on the outcome of the peripheral angiogram and will take into account your age, lifestyle, and other factors. Although it is an exploratory procedure, a peripheral angiogram can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. WHAT IS A PERIPHERAL ANGIOGRAM? Performed as an outpatient procedure at a medical or surgical center, you can expect to be moderately sedated during the procedure (also known as twilight sedation). This allows you to relax during the process. Usually, you are still breathing on your own and able to answer questions, but many people do not remember the procedure. Your medical team will insert a catheter into a peripheral artery, usually the femoral artery near the groin, to inject a small amount of contrast dye. As the dye flows through the artery, an X-ray video will produce a visual to see how well the blood flows and pinpoint any blockages. This procedure is also referred to as an angiography. An angiogram is the gold standard for evaluating arterial blockages If an artery is indeed blocked, the doctor will be able to perform peripheral angioplasty, which places a balloon catheter into the artery to open the blocked artery from the inside. To help keep the artery open to allow the blood flow, a stent may be inserted. This is a tube that will stay in the artery for a period of time to keep the artery open. Regardless of whether you receive a peripheral angiogram or an angiogram with stent placement, the entire procedure typically takes just one to two hours. Also, because it’s generally performed in an outpatient setting, you’ll spend just a few hours recovering at the surgery center or hospital, before heading home to heal. IS A PERIPHERAL ANGIOGRAM CONSIDERED SURGERY? A peripheral angiogram does require a small incision to be made in the skin using surgical tools without having to be admitted at a medical center. It is an outpatient procedure, not requiring an overnight stay at a hospital nor to be put under general anesthesia. It is considered an exploratory procedure to get a better understanding of what is going on internally in order for your clinical team to make the best treatment plan for your health. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL FROM AN ANGIOGRAM? After the catheter has been removed, pressure will be applied to the site to decrease the bleeding. You will be moved to a recovery room to make sure the bleeding stops efficiently, then released to go home. It may be advised that you do little activity if any for 2-8 hours to allow for proper healing. The recovery time depends on the blood vessel involved in the procedure, and also the extent of the procedure itself. After the procedure, it is advised to drink plenty of water, at least 6 glasses, to flush out the dye from your kidneys. This process usually takes about 48 hours. Bruising at the site where the catheter was inserted is normal and should take about a week to heal. While you are healing, be mindful of any swelling, bleeding or increased pain of the leg or insertion site. It is recommended to avoid any added pressure from strenuous activity, squatting, bending or lifting items over 20 pounds while recovering, though taking short 10 minute walks throughout the day is beneficial for blood flow. As the wound is healing avoid immersion into hot water, such as a tub or pool, as the site can become more vulnerable to bleeding or infection and impede the healing process. A full set of instructions will be given to you by the doctor and will be able to go over any questions you have for post-op recovery and care. If a stent was inserted it may take up to 8 weeks to completely heal. THE BENEFITS RECEIVED FROM A PERIPHERAL ANGIOGRAM Peripheral angiograms come with a number of benefits. An accurate and detailed diagnostic outcome In many cases, a balloon angioplasty itself may be enough to relieve blockages in the legs or arms Treatments, like stent placement, can sometimes be done during a peripheral angiogram Diagnostic X-rays leave no radiation behind and rarely cause side effects Get a better understanding of the source of pain experienced in the legs The procedure itself is generally painless, though some feel a hot sensation when the contrast dye is administered, like a hot flash The recovery time is relatively short as the procedure is considered minimally-invasive with only a small incision required The procedure only requires hours at a medical center, and usually, you are released the same day YOUR HEALTH IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO OUR VASCULAR SPECIALISTS Our doctors here at Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott have your health in their best interest. This medical team truly cares for your best health and loves to provide information and education to support healthy habits. If you are at risk of peripheral artery disease or have been diagnosed with it, or just want to increase the health of your legs and veins, take a look at these great tips for healthy veins. If you have any concerns about the procedure or questions about why your doctor thinks it’s necessary, talk with your medical team. Or, for more information on peripheral angiograms, visit our website, and call to speak to our knowledgeable staff at (928) 771-8477
11 Tips for Healthy Legs [2020 Update]
11 Tips For Healthy Legs [2020 Update] If you’re like most people, you want strong, fit, and healthy legs. Only one problem, few of us know how to get them, or how to take care of them once we have them. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a list of simple tips, things you could do right now to get the healthy, good-looking legs you want? That is exactly what we are going to show you with our 11 simple habits you can start today to get incredibly healthy legs inside and out. Keep reading! 1. Take simple steps to maintain a healthy weight There are a number of ways to keep yourself at a healthy weight. Following these simple steps can not only reduce your odds of developing varicose veins, but you can also lower your risk of developing osteoarthritis, the loss of cartilage in the joints. Lower or control the amount of food you eat at every meal – This gives you power over what goes into your body. Keep moving – When you are active throughout the day your body burns calories which in turn can help maintain a healthy weight. More on this in step 2! Drink more water – Proper hydration is critical for maintaining your overall health. Drinking water throughout the day also helps your body burn more calories. 2. Stay active with regular exercise Exercising regularly can help you stay at a healthy weight, and also improve circulation. Take a look at some quick examples of exercises that will help you stay active. Take a 30-minute daily walk – It might not seem like a lot, but the health benefits of simply walking are many, and walking makes a bigger difference than you might think! Go swimming or do water aerobics – These are great low-impact ways to exercise with a great return in calorie-burn. Run or Hike – With the correct form and the right footwear, these exercises can be fun and get you outside! Stretching or taking yoga classes – Maintaining flexibility in your body is a vital part of any exercise plan. Don’t over-think it – If none of these options are appealing to you, try dancing in your living room. Be creative! The point is simply to move your body. 3. Get comfortable with compression One tool that you may have never considered is medical-grade compression stockings. More people including professional athletes have begun to rely on them to improve circulation, minimize swelling, and reduce recovery time after a tough workout or a long day spent on your feet. They also give you an added bonus of helping prevent varicose and spider veins. Find a reputable dealer of medical-grade stockings. Choose the look that is right for you. Enjoy the benefits of improved circulation in your legs 4. Support healthy blood flow by not sitting for TOO long The job of your veins is to get your blood back to the heart. When you move your legs, your calf muscles work to pump and squeeze the blood up and out of your legs. Follow these simple steps to keep your blood moving. If you sit for long periods of time, plan multiple times during the day when you can get up and walk around. If you work from home, don’t keep all your food and drinks at your desk – This will get you standing up regularly throughout the day. Set a timer if you won’t remember to get up every hour or so and walk around for a few minutes. If you can complete some work standing up take advantage of those times to work while standing. This can help prevent varicose veins! 5. Relax with a massage If you experience legs that are tired and achy, treat yourself to a massage. Massages help improve circulation throughout your body and make you feel rested and relaxed. Check with your doctor to make sure getting a massage is recommended. Find an accredited massage therapist with good reviews. Relax! Massages are meant to relax you while they decrease pain and tightness in your muscles. 6. Change your shower/bath habits Taking a hot bath after a hard workout or a long day may feel great at the time, but the longer your body is subjected to the heat, the more likely it is to swell. This also makes it difficult for your muscles to recover. Make these quick changes to see a difference: Lower the temperature of your baths and showers – Besides reducing swelling, lower temperatures can keep your skin from drying out dramatically. Limit the length of time spent in the bath and shower – Your skin needs moisture from the shower, but if you take long showers your natural oil will eventually all be washed off. Rinse off your legs with cool water at the end of your shower – This may take some getting used to, but as you experience the benefits of decreased swelling and increased venous function you may just subscribe to this new way of bathing. 7. Eat nutrient-rich foods that taste great and build you up Going on a diet may sound like fun for some, but you may not be excited about the prospect. On the other hand, eating delicious food that is also incredibly good for you could be one of the greatest skills you learn. Follow these easy suggestions to start changing these habits today: Ditch the fad diets – You need something that will help you have a healthy diet and feel great for the rest of your life! This starts with a change of mindset. You are what you eat – think about it. What you eat eventually filters into your bloodstream and is then used to “build” the rest of your body. What is your body built on? Trade out processed foods from your diet for whole foods – This means dump the frozen instant meals, and quick soups (sorry ramen). Add whole foods include fresh produce, vegetables, and fruit Eat more protein – Don’t run to the store and grab a processed protein bar! Instead, try some lean meat in a meal or even better, fish which have healthy fats and high protein! Sound extreme? Why not start by adding some vegetables to each meal? The beginning of your healthy diet! 8. Prevent future health problems when you stop smoking This may take some more work on your part, but there are a number of local and national programs to support you in your decision. If you currently smoke, stopping can provide incredible health benefits. These include: Starting the healing process to your lungs, circulatory systems and skin – Smoking can cause permanent damage to your lungs and is known to cause cancer all throughout your body. Decreases your likelihood of heart attacks or stroke – While some reasons for these conditions are genetic or outside your control, your choice to stop smoking can greatly improve your health. An increase in venous function which in turn lowers the chances of developing varicose veins. 9. Support your whole body with the correct shoes Don’t forget your feet! With the right footwear on, you can avoid unwanted knee problems, back pain, and fatigue. The wrong shoe can, of course, do the opposite. Remember, you don’t just want legs that look good, you want legs that feel good and ARE good on the inside. These are our foot support tips: Invest in quality shoes that provide adequate support for your arches – Your feet hold your whole body up, they need support! Avoid wearing flat shoes (without any support) or high heels on a regular basis as they are designed for looks, not health benefits. If you are not sure what kind of shoes to buy, get advice from a doctor on what kind they recommend. 10. Recharge your whole body as you sleep The health benefits of sleep cannot be understated. Any part of your body that you hope to improve relies on your body’s built-in ability to heal, recharge, and grow stronger as you sleep. Here are some quick tips to improve your sleep. Make a schedule so you can go to sleep and wake up at a set time each day. Remove distractions from your sleeping area. Turn off the TV and stop using your cell phone 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed – Research has shown that the blue-green lights from the screens suppress the natural sleep hormone melatonin in our bodies, preventing us from winding down naturally in the evenings. Get a white noise generator (or app) to cut out noises in your home that might awaken you before it is time to get up. Set an alarm to wake you up at the appropriate time so you can get up and be active again. As you begin going to sleep at the same time each night, you will find your body will naturally begin to wind down when it is time to go to bed! 11. Take a load off while you kick up your heels By elevating your legs above your heart for a few minutes each day, you can help the blood and fluids flow back to your heart more easily. It also gives your legs a break and helps keep spider and varicose veins at bay. Set time aside each day to elevate your legs. It is best to find a good-quality pillow that is designed to elevate your legs while you are laying in bed or on the couch – You can easily find them online or in local stores. Make sure your calves are also elevated above your thighs to ensure maximum effectiveness of this step. Your legs should be elevated above the level of your heart for this to work correctly – If done regularly elevating your legs can decrease swelling, improve venous function, and reduce foot pain. For more information on improving the health of your legs, or for help with varicose veins, spider veins, and other vascular issues, visit vispdocs.com.
7 Tips for Healthier Veins (2020 Update)
7 Tips for Healthier Veins (2020 Update) Your veins don’t get enough attention. You might only think of them when you see them bulging after a tough workout or when you find a varicose vein forming on your leg. We think your veins deserve more attention. After all, veins are the “highway” through which blood flows back to your heart! Did you know that you have about 60,000 miles of vasculature? That’s arteries, veins, and capillaries carrying blood and nutrients to every corner of your being! Like a highway, when there’s a blockage, its traffic can slow to a crawl or even stop – which can be catastrophic! Fortunately, you’re in the driver’s seat. You have the power to follow these 7 easy tips we have compiled to help keep your blood flowing and your veins healthy. Drive on! 1. Learn to love cardio You don’t have to train for the Whiskey Row Marathon, but we do recommend that you find something you enjoy that will help you stay moving. Not only does cardiovascular exercise promote healthy blood flow and strong veins, but it can help you avoid weight gain, which can strain the vessels in your lower body. Try these basic exercises: Go on a brisk walk – Walking can boost your overall health and help prevent vein disease. Walking is a great place to start. Run or hike at an even pace with supportive shoes – These workouts get your heart rate up as they build your muscles. Go swimming – Swimming is a great resistance exercise that works out multiple muscle groups at once. Go on a bike ride – Biking is another good choice for lower body strengthening. Any exercise that will get your heart rate up for about 30 minutes a day 5 days out of the week will give you the most benefit – This can help keep blood from pooling and prevent spider veins. 2. Drink plenty of water When your body is properly hydrated, it not only works more efficiently, but your blood becomes thinner and flows more easily through your veins. Add these steps to your daily routine: Drink water throughout the day – Buy a water bottle and keep it with you wherever you go. Set a timer to remind you to drink if you have trouble remembering to drink. Drink water before you go to sleep at night and when you wake up – the amount of time you sleep is time without water intake. Drink extra water when you exercise or when you sweat to replenish your body – adequate hydration can greatly improve the effectiveness of your workout and recovery. 3. Eat the rainbow It is tempting to eat pre-packaged meals or fast food when we are in a hurry. The strain these foods put on our vascular system is enormous and not worth the convenience in the long run. On the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in vitamins C and K, can contribute to the health of your vein walls, improve vein diameter and circulation. They provide nutrients like vitamins and dietary fiber that help your body stay healthy and heal quicker from injuries! The brighter the fruits and vegetables, the better for your veins. These delicious additions to your diet are full of antioxidants that provide wonderful benefits. Prevent vein disease and strengthen your vein walls by eating these: Vegetables high in vitamins C and K – These include red peppers, collard greens, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, avocado, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes to name a few. Fresh fruits rich in vitamins C and K – Kiwis, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, prunes, blackberries, and pomegranates. Certain foods such as avocados, for example, can be added to your diet to treat varicose veins. 4. Consider compression socks If you’re susceptible to venous insufficiency, due to a hereditary condition, pregnancy, a chronic condition or lifestyle, compression socks can help our veins. Compression socks are specially designed to apply pressure on the muscles around the veins to help blood flow more easily back up toward the heart. Improve your vein health now: Take a look online at medical-grade compression socks or “stockings” – You might be surprised at the popularity and the wide variety of stylish compression socks available. Take a cue from professional athletes who have begun to use these to aid them in recovery after or during sporting events – Share the success they experience while keeping your veins healthy. Work these tools into your regular wardrobe to get the full benefit of proper circulation and increased vein health! 5. Cut back on sugar Sugar is delicious, addictive, and as it turns out, quite dangerous. Sugar-rich food and drinks, like soda, juice, cookies, and cereals taste good, but that’s not the whole story. Once the food is digested, your body produces low-density lipoprotein, which can become oxidized and stuck to the walls of your blood vessels – forming what’s commonly called plaque. As plaque builds up over time, it can lead to clotting, as well as high cholesterol – both of which can lead to problems with your veins, arteries, and heart. Extra sugar also causes high blood pressure which is another common cause of varicose veins. Make these simple adjustments to create a healthy diet: Cut out sugary drinks like soda and juice – The quickest way to cut down on this dangerous sugar intake for many is to stop drinking soda. Eat more whole foods – When you trade processed and pre-packaged meals for fresh food the natural effect is a decrease in the unhealthy things you consume, including excess sugar. 6. Leave the heat behind A long hot bath after a long hard day. A dip in the jacuzzi or a stay in the sauna. These might feel great and reduce pain for sore muscles, but over time, prolonged exposure to heat can actually increase vein swelling. Vein swelling often leads to blood pooling which can cause varicose veins and spider veins to appear. Ultimately this can lead to venous insufficiency and blood clots. Steps for healthy veins: Spend less time in high-heat showers or baths – Trade the hot for cool water for an even greater benefit as it can decrease inflammation to improve vein health. Limit how long or how often you spend in the jacuzzi or sauna – Remember that heat makes things swell. 7. Kick the (smoking) habit Smoking isn’t good for you, you’ve heard that before, but it’s especially hard on your cardiovascular system. The chemicals in tobacco smoke deoxygenate and thicken the blood. They also cause your blood flow to slow down. Nicotine also has the destructive effect of causing vascular hardening and narrowing. This greatly increases your risk of clotting – which can be deadly. Opt for a healthy cardiovascular system and longer life: If you need help quitting, find a local or national program – Share the support of many who have quit before you. Make the decision to live better, longer, healthier! Finally, if you notice symptoms of venous insufficiency, including swelling or heaviness in the lower leg or ankle, varicose veins, pain or itchiness, seek help from a vascular specialist who can provide the care you need. For information on the services available at Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott, visit vispdocs.com or call 928.771.8477.
Back Pain: Five Exercises That Can Lead to Long-Term Damage
As medical professionals, we always recommend that our patients exercise, but some exercises, especially when performed incorrectly and over a long period of time, can lead to chronic back pain. So, let’s take a look at some of the leading culprits of exercise-related back pain and explore where many of us so often go wrong. (more…)
Pregnancy & Varicose Veins
Pregnancy & Varicose Veins: Five Ways to Reduce Your Risk Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in a woman’s body, but one often unexpected change is the development of varicose veins. And it makes sense. After all, during pregnancy your body not only produces more blood, but your hormones make the walls of your veins softer – which makes it more difficult for them to work properly. In addition, as your uterus expands and your baby grows, there’s an increase in pressure on your lower body – making it even more difficult for your veins to pump blood back toward your heart. Because of this, blood may begin pooling in your legs and cause the appearance of varicose veins. (more…)
Varicose Veins: Why Standing & Sitting are So Bad for You (and What to Do About It)
Varicose Veins: Why Standing & Sitting are So Bad for You (and What to Do About It) When it comes to developing varicose veins, the risk factors run the gamut from family history and aging to pregnancy, obesity, and leg trauma. But what you might not realize is that standing and sitting all day at work or due to a generally sedentary lifestyle are also risk factors. (more…)