Prescott’s Leading Group of Subspecialty Radiologists
Vascular Specialists and Interventional Radiologists Provide Specialized Care for Prescott’s Community
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:
What Is A Nerve Block Procedure?
Did you know that 20.4% of adults in the USA have chronic pain? This pain can impact every aspect of your life, and traditional pain management methods may not always be effective. That’s where nerve block procedures come in. A nerve block procedure is a type of pain management procedure that involves injecting a local anesthetic to temporarily block the transmission of pain signals along the nerves. At its core, nerve blocks fall under the umbrella of pain management, aimed at alleviating discomfort and improving the overall quality of life. Keep reading to learn more about the details of nerve block procedures and how they can help you manage your pain. Taking a Closer Look at Nerve Blocks When it comes to managing pain caused by various medical conditions, nerve blocks are becoming an increasingly popular option for temporary pain relief. Nerve blocks involve injecting local anesthetic medications into a group of nerves that are responsible for causing pain in a specific area of the body. The Different Types of Nerve Blocks Nerve blocks are medical interventions used to control or manage pain by blocking the transmission of nerve signals to relieve pain. They can be classified into surgical and non-surgical methods, each with its own applications and considerations. Surgical Nerve Blocks: Surgical Sympathectomy: Involves cutting or damaging specific nerves to disrupt the sympathetic nervous system. Applications: Used for conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Neurectomy: Procedure: Surgical removal or transection of a nerve. Applications: May be performed to treat certain types of chronic pain when other treatments have failed. Peripheral Nerve Decompression: Procedure: Surgical decompression of nerves from entrapment or compression. Applications: Often employed for conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome. Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS): Procedure: Implantation of electrodes near the spinal cord, delivering electrical impulses to disrupt pain signals. Applications: Used for chronic pain conditions, including failed back surgery syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome. Non-surgical Nerve Blocks: Local Anesthetic Injections: Procedure: Involves injecting a local anesthetic near a nerve or group of nerves. Applications: Commonly used for diagnostic purposes to identify the source of pain or for therapeutic pain relief. Epidural Steroid Injections: Procedure: Injection of a corticosteroid and anesthetic into the epidural space around the spinal cord. Applications: Often used for pain management in conditions such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis. Facet Joint Injections: Procedure: Injection of anesthetic and/or corticosteroid into the facet joints of the spine. Applications: Used for pain relief in conditions affecting the facet joints, such as arthritis. Peripheral Nerve Blocks: Procedure: Injection of anesthetic near a peripheral nerve. Applications: Used to manage pain in specific regions of the body, such as the face (trigeminal nerve block) or limbs. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): Procedure: Application of radiofrequency energy to a nerve to create a heat lesion, disrupting pain signals. Applications: Commonly used for chronic pain conditions, particularly in the spine. How Nerve Blocks Work When we experience pain, it’s usually caused by a specific group of nerves in the affected area. Nerve blocks work by targeting this specific group of nerves and stopping the pain signal from reaching the brain. This is achieved by injecting a local anesthetic medication into the area around the affected nerves, which numbs the area and provides pain relief. The Different Types of Nerve Blocks We Offer There are many types of nerve blocks, each targeting a specific group of nerves. Some of the most common nerve blocks that we offer include: Nerve Block TypeDescriptionCervical Nerve BlocksInvolve the injection of anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medication around nerves in the cervical (neck) region. These blocks are often used to diagnose and manage pain stemming from issues such as cervical disc herniation, arthritis, or nerve compression.Thoracic Nerve BlocksTargets the nerves in the thoracic (mid-back) region. By injecting medications near these nerves, often using fluoroscopic guidance, healthcare providers aim to alleviate pain associated with conditions like thoracic spine fractures, intercostal neuralgia, or post-herpetic neuralgia.Lumbar Nerve BlocksInvolve the injection of medications around the nerves in the lumbar (lower back) region. These blocks are commonly employed for diagnostic purposes to identify the source of lower back pain or as therapeutic interventions for conditions such as lumbar disc herniation or facet joint arthritis.Intercostal Nerve BlocksTarget the nerves running between the ribs. By injecting local anesthetics or steroids near these nerves, healthcare providers can provide pain relief for conditions like shingles (herpes zoster) affecting the intercostal nerves or post-surgical pain following thoracic surgeries. The Nerve Block Injection Procedure The nerve block injection procedure involves injecting a local anesthetic medication around the affected nerves, which usually takes only a few minutes to complete. In some cases, a nerve catheter may be used to deliver medication continuously to the affected area. This is done by inserting a tiny plastic tube into the area around the nerves, which can be left in place for several days. Benefits of Nerve Blocks Nerve blocks offer many benefits for managing pain caused by various medical conditions. Some of the key benefits include: Providing immediate pain relief Minimizing the use of pain medications Providing temporary pain relief for chronic pain sufferers Reducing the need for surgery in some cases Safety and Efficacy of Nerve Blocks First and foremost, nerve blocks are generally considered safe. Complications are rare, but as with any medical procedure, they can occur. Risks associated with nerve blocks include: Nerve damage Infection Bleeding Allergic reactions However, our highly trained and experienced medical professionals take every precaution to minimize these risks. While nerve blocks are generally safe, it is important to note that they can cause temporary discomfort or pain during the injection. However, this discomfort can be managed with the use of local anesthesia or a sedating medicine, which are administered to patients prior to the procedure. Nerve Blocks vs. Other Treatment Methods When it comes to treating pain, there are different treatment methods available, including nerve blocks. Nerve blocks provide the advantage of medication continuously delivered to the affected area, which can help manage pain for longer periods compared to other methods where the effect wears off after a few hours. Unlike other methods that provide generalized pain relief, nerve blocks target specific nerves responsible for causing pain. By targeting specific nerves, nerve blocks are more precise and effective in treating certain conditions, including chronic pain. Nerve blocks are typically performed in an operating room, and the procedure itself can take a few hours to complete. However, the duration of pain relief depends on the specific type of block performed. Treatment MethodsAdvantagesDisadvantagesMedication Continuously Delivered– Provides longer-lasting pain relief- Can be tailored to individual needs– May require catheter insertion- Risk of infectionNerve Blocks– Precise and effective in targeting specific nerves- Can be used to diagnose and treat pain– May require multiple injections- Risk of adverse effects like nerve damageOral Medications– Easy to administer- Available over-the-counter– Effect is not long-lasting- May cause side effects like stomach upset As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with nerve blocks, such as the possibility of nerve damage or adverse reactions to medication. However, these risks can be mitigated by consulting with a trusted medical provider specializing in pain management, like VISP. At VISP, we believe in a patient-centered approach to pain management where we work with our patients to develop a personalized treatment plan. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help manage your pain. Start a Pain Free Life Today! At VISP, we understand the importance of pain management and the impact it has on the daily lives of individuals. That’s why we offer nerve block procedures as a solution to help provide temporary pain relief. By targeting specific nerves and using local anesthetics, we can help alleviate the discomfort associated with various conditions. We aim to make the process as comfortable as possible for our patients, providing them with the care and attention they deserve. Through nerve block procedures, we can help manage pain caused by nerve cells affected by various medical conditions. We advocate for temporary pain relief, and our goal is to improve our patients’ quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about nerve block procedures and how we can help you achieve pain relief and management. FAQ What is a nerve block procedure? A nerve block procedure is a medical technique used to achieve temporary pain relief. It involves injecting a local anesthetic near a specific group of nerves responsible for causing pain. How do nerve blocks work? Nerve blocks work by targeting a specific group of nerves that transmit pain signals. By blocking the transmission of these signals, nerve blocks can provide temporary pain relief. What are the different types of nerve blocks? There are various types of nerve blocks commonly used in medical practice. Some examples include occipital nerve blocks, celiac plexus blocks, and stellate ganglion blocks. What does the nerve block procedure involve? The nerve block procedure may involve injecting a local anesthetic near the affected nerve or using a nerve catheter. In some cases, a tiny plastic tube may be used to deliver the anesthetic. How do nerve blocks provide pain relief? Nerve blocks provide pain relief by delivering a numbing medication to the affected area. This numbs the nerves and temporarily blocks the pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. Are nerve blocks safe? Nerve blocks are generally considered safe when performed by trained medical professionals. Safety measures are taken to minimize risks, and potential side effects are carefully monitored. How do nerve blocks compare to other treatment methods? Nerve blocks offer advantages such as continuous pain relief compared to other methods where the effect wears off after a few hours. They specifically target the nerves causing pain and can be performed in an operating room. What are the benefits of nerve block procedures? Nerve block procedures provide temporary pain relief, improving the quality of life for individuals suffering from various conditions. To learn more about the benefits of nerve block procedures, you can contact VISP, a trusted medical provider specializing in pain management.
How Long Does Nerve Block Last?
If you suffer from chronic pain, you may have heard of nerve blocks as a pain relief option. Nerve blocks involve injecting a local anesthetic near the affected nerve to control pain. This procedure can be helpful for various conditions, from nerve injury to managing chronic pain. However, how long does the nerve block last? This is a common concern among patients who are considering this treatment option. In this blog, we’ll explore the duration of nerve blocks, the different types involved, and the safety considerations associated with this technique. We’ll also discuss how nerve blocks work to provide pain relief and their role in managing different types of nerve pain. Let’s dive in. But first, let’s take a look at how nerve block injections are performed and how they work to relieve pain. What Is A Nerve Block? A nerve block is an injection of a local anesthetic (numbing medication) and a steroid medication. The medication is injected near the nerves that are sending pain signals. Nerve blocks can be used to diagnose the source of pain, and they can also be used as a treatment to provide pain relief. There are many different types of nerve blocks, and the one that is right for you will depend on your particular situation. The most common types of nerve blocks are: Cervical Nerve Block A cervical nerve block is a medical procedure used to relieve pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It involves injecting a local anesthetic or a combination of anesthetics and steroids into the nerves that transmit pain signals from the affected area. The injections are targeted at specific nerves in the cervical (neck) region. Thoracic Nerve Block This type of nerve block aims to provide pain relief in the thoracic region of the body, which includes the chest and upper back areas. This is achieved by injecting local anesthetics or a combination of anesthetics and steroids near the specific nerves that are causing the pain. This block can help alleviate pain caused by various conditions, such as post-herpetic neuralgia (nerve pain following shingles), intercostal neuralgia (nerve pain in the ribs), rib fractures, or chronic pain due to arthritis or other disorders affecting the thoracic region. Lumbar Nerve Block This medical procedure is designed to help alleviate pain in the lower back, which is also known as the lumbar region. This is accomplished by injecting a local anesthetic or a combination of anesthetics and steroids near the specific nerves that are transmitting the pain signals. A lumbar nerve block can help manage pain caused by various conditions, including sciatica, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, chronic pain due to arthritis, or other disorders affecting the lumbar region. Intercostal Nerve Block This type of nerve block injection targets the pain in the chest or upper abdomen. The intercostal nerves run between the ribs and are responsible for transmitting pain signals from this area of the body. An intercostal nerve block can be used to help manage pain caused by various conditions such as shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia), surgery in the chest or upper abdomen, rib fractures, or chronic pain due to other conditions affecting the intercostal nerves. What Conditions Can Be Treated With Nerve Blocks? Nerve blocks can be used to provide pain relief for a variety of conditions, including: Arthritis painBack painChronic painFacial painHeadachesJoint painNeck painNeuralgiaPostoperative painShinglesSports injuriesTrigeminal neuralgia How Long Does the Effects of Nerve Blocks Last? The duration of the effects of nerve blocks can vary greatly depending on the type and purpose of the block. For instance, anesthetic nerve blocks used for procedures like hand surgery typically last between 6-8 hours, while a nerve block for pain management after total knee replacement can last for 12-24 hours. For some types of nerve blocks, you can expect to start noticing pain relief immediately after the injection, usually within 15-30 minutes. On the other hand, long-acting spinal nerve blocks can last up to two years, although this type of nerve block has the most side effects. Non-surgical nerve blocks can last for several months or even years. Surgical nerve blocks aim to have permanent effects, but pain can still return. In general, a nerve block can last anywhere from 12 to 36 hours, depending on the type used. After the injection, you will probably experience a sensation of pain relief in the area injected, which can last a few weeks to months. FAQs: How long does a nerve block last? The duration of a nerve block can vary depending on several factors, including the type of nerve block, the specific condition being treated, and individual variations. In general, nerve blocks can provide temporary pain relief that may last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Are nerve blocks safe? Nerve blocks are generally considered safe when performed by a qualified healthcare professional. However, as with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of nerve blocks with your doctor before undergoing the procedure. Does a nerve block hurt? The injection of a nerve block can cause some discomfort or a small pinch sensation. However, a local anesthetic is typically used to numb the area before the injection, which helps minimize any pain or discomfort during the procedure. How long does it take for a nerve block to take effect? The time it takes for a nerve block to take effect can vary, but it is usually relatively quick. In many cases, patients will start to experience pain relief within minutes of the injection. However, it is important to note that the full effects of the nerve block may take a short while longer to develop. Have Your Nerve Blocks Administered By Our Specialists If you are considering nerve blocks to manage your chronic pain, it is essential to talk to our medical professionals at VISP to learn more about the procedure and determine if it is suitable for you. Additionally, a nerve block procedure can be an effective complement to other pain management strategies, such as physical therapy and pain medications, to help you manage your pain more effectively and enhance your overall quality of life. Visit our website or call us at (928) 771-VISP (8477) to set up an appointment.
Varicose Vein Vs. Spider Vein: What’s The Difference?
If you’ve noticed tiny, threadlike red or blue veins on your legs, ankles, or feet that resemble a spider web, then you likely have spider veins. While many of us are familiar with these harmless cosmetic blemishes, what about varicose veins? Varicose veins can appear similar to spider veins in color and size but they are very different things. To better understand the differences between varicose vein vs. spider vein, it is important to consider their distinctive features so that treatments can be tailored for each condition accordingly. In this blog post, we will explore the key ways in which both of these common vascular conditions differ as well as when to seek professional medical care. What are Varicose Veins? Varicose veins are a prevalent medical condition that can manifest in various areas of the body, with the legs being a common location. They primarily stem from impaired blood circulation within the veins, leading to the abnormal enlargement, twisting, and protrusion of these blood vessels. Varicose veins exhibit a wide spectrum of sizes, spanning from minor to substantially large. When large varicose veins develop, they exert added stress on adjacent healthy veins, potentially compromising overall vein function and health. In certain instances, this condition may escalate to the formation of blood clots, a critical medical concern that warrants prompt attention. What are Spider Veins? Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are small, dilated blood vessels that appear near the surface of the skin. They often manifest as red or purple lines and web-like patterns, typically found on the legs and face. Spider veins are generally harmless but can be unsightly and may cause discomfort in some cases. These veins occur when there is an increase in pressure within the blood vessels, causing them to become enlarged and visible. The exact cause of spider veins is not fully understood, but they can be influenced by factors such as genetics, hormonal changes, pregnancy, obesity, prolonged standing or sitting, and sun exposure. [Related: Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins: How Does It Work?] Varicose Vein Causes and Symptoms Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins that commonly appear in the legs. These bothersome leg veins can be caused by various factors, including: Weak or damaged valves: Inside the veins, there are tiny valves that help regulate blood flow. If these valves become weak or damaged, blood can pool in the veins, causing them to enlarge and become varicose.Increased pressure on the veins: Prolonged standing or sitting can put increased pressure on the veins in the legs, leading to the development of varicose veins.Hormonal changes: Changes in hormone levels, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can relax the vein walls and contribute to the formation of varicose veins.Family history: There is often a genetic component to varicose veins. If your parents or close relatives have them, you are more likely to develop them as well.Obesity: Excess weight can put added pressure on the veins, increasing the risk of developing varicose veins.Age: The risk of varicose veins increases with age, as the veins may lose elasticity and become weakened over time. Symptoms of varicose veins can vary from person to person, but commonly include: Bulging veinsAching and heaviness in the legsSwelling in the affected areaItchingLeg crampsRestless legs syndromeSkin changes (discoloration, dryness, irritation)Development of open sores or ulcers, usually near the ankles. Spider Veins Causes and Symptoms The causes of spider veins can include: Heredity: A family history of spider veins can increase the likelihood of developing them.Prolonged standing or sitting: Occupations that involve long periods of standing or sitting can contribute to the development of spider veins.Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, menopause, and the use of hormonal birth control can lead to the development of spider veins.Obesity: Excess weight puts added pressure on the veins, increasing the risk of spider veins.Trauma or injury: Previous injuries or trauma to the skin can cause damage to blood vessels and contribute to the formation of spider veins.Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions like liver disease or blood clotting disorders can increase the risk of developing spider veins.Age: The risk of spider veins tends to increase with age as the veins lose elasticity.Sun exposure: Prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can weaken the skin and blood vessels, leading to the appearance of spider veins. [Related: 9 Things to Ask Your Varicose Vein Doctor About Your Treatment] What Are the Ways to Treat Varicose Veins? If you’re dealing with varicose veins or spider veins, you may feel self-conscious or uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are various treatments available to help. In this section, we’ll explain the treatment options for both varicose veins and spider veins. Varicose Vein Treatment Treatments for varicose veins range from minimally invasive procedures to surgery. Non-invasive procedures include: Endovenous laser treatment: This minimally invasive treatment uses a laser to close off the affected veins, rerouting blood flow to healthy veins.Sclerotherapy: A solution is injected into the affected veins, causing them to collapse and eventually be reabsorbed by the body.Radiofrequency ablation: This procedure uses radiofrequency energy to heat the walls inside the damaged vein and close it. If you have severe varicose veins, our doctors may recommend surgery. Common surgical procedures for varicose veins include: Vein stripping: This involves removing the affected veins through incisions in the skin.Ambulatory phlebectomy: This procedure involves making small incisions in the skin and using a hook to remove the affected veins. Spider Veins Treatment Minimally invasive procedures can be used to treat spider veins, including: Laser treatments: This procedure uses a laser to target and close off the affected veins.Sclerotherapy: This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a solution is injected into varicose or spider veins to cause them to collapse and fade from view. It’s important to note that while these treatments can be effective, they don’t prevent new spider veins from forming. Our doctors may recommend additional treatments or steps to help prevent new spider veins from appearing. Prevention Techniques for Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Preventing varicose veins and spider veins involves making some lifestyle changes. Here are some of the prevention techniques we recommend: Wear Compression Stockings: Compression stockings are an effective way to reduce the risk of varicose veins and spider veins. They help improve blood flow, prevent blood from pooling in your legs, and reduce swelling. These stockings are available in different sizes and compression levels. Consult your doctor to determine the best one for you.Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on your veins, which can lead to varicose veins and spider veins. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help prevent these conditions.Stay Active: Engage in regular physical activity to improve blood flow in your legs. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling can help improve circulation.Elevate Your Legs: Elevating your legs above heart level can help reduce swelling and pressure on your veins. Try elevating your legs for a few minutes every day.Avoid Prolonged Sitting or Standing: Prolonged sitting or standing can put extra pressure on your legs and lead to varicose veins and spider veins. Take breaks to stretch and move your legs throughout the day.Avoid Tight Clothing: Tight clothing, especially around your waist, groin, and legs, can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of varicose veins and spider veins. Get High-Quality Vein Care To sum up, varicose veins and spider veins can look very similar, yet they’re quite distinct. If you suspect that you may have either varicose or spider veins, do not hesitate to set an appointment with us today! Our team is composed of board-certified specialists who remain vigilantly up-to-date on the latest advancements in venous medicine and have extensive experience in treating both types of vein conditions. Set an appointment with us today!
What Is The Best Treatment for PVD in Legs?
What Is The Best Treatment for PVD in Legs? Peripheral vascular disease is a circulatory disease that affects the blood vessels in the extremities, such as the feet and legs. This condition occurs when a blood vessel becomes narrowed, blocked, or spasmed, resulting in reduced blood flow and potential complications. PVD can be a slow-progressing disorder. Here’s the good news though: timely treatment and intervention can greatly improve the quality of life of those affected. In this article, we’ll discuss the signs, symptoms, causes, risk factors, and explore the best treatment for PVD in legs to improve your condition and overall quality of life. Understanding PVD: Causes, Symptoms, and Risk Factors Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a complex circulatory condition that can have serious consequences for your health. It affects arteries, arterioles, and veins. All of these contribute to the body’s complex vascular systems. Capillaries, the smallest blood vessels, link these systems together. While PVD can occur anywhere in the body, it most commonly affects the extremities, such as the legs. It can cause discomfort, reduced mobility, and complications such as ulcers and injuries. Understanding the symptoms, risk factors, and causes is important for early diagnosis, prompt PVD treatment, effective management, and better overall health. Causes of PVD PVD’s leading cause is atherosclerosis, often referred to as the “hardening of the arteries”. This is caused by the gradual accumulation of calcium, cellular wastes, and fatty substances on the inner walls of arteries. Over time this buildup causes plaques, which narrow the vessels and reduce blood flow to various parts of the body, especially the extremities. Blood vessel constriction can reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues, leading to fatigued legs, cramping pain, and non-healing ulcers. Risk Factors of PVD Several risk factors are associated with increased susceptibility to peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). It is important to identify these risk factors for both prevention as well as effective symptom management. Smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for PVD. It damages the blood vessels, causes atherosclerosis, and accelerates the progression of the disease. Smokers have a greater risk of developing peripheral vascular disease and experiencing its symptoms earlier than those who do not smoke.Diabetes: People who have diabetes are at a greater risk of developing PVD. Elevated blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels and make them more susceptible to atherosclerosis and other circulatory issues.Age: PVD is a disease that primarily affects those over 60. As age advances, the risk of developing PVD increases.Prior Coronary Artery Disease: People who have had coronary artery diseases in the past are at a higher risk of developing PVD. Both conditions have similar risk factors and mechanisms.Obesity: Living with obesity can lead to atherosclerosis, and increase the risk of PVD. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for vascular health.Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity may lead to PVD and other health issues. Regular exercise helps to improve blood circulation and reduces your risk of developing vascular disorders.High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Hypertension causes blood vessels to be more vulnerable to damage and atherosclerosis. Uncontrolled high blood tension can worsen PVD symptoms.High Blood Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia): Elevated levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and PVD.Family History: Genetic factors can influence PVD risk. Individuals with a familial history of PVD, heart disease, or related conditions have a higher risk of developing the disorder.Medical History: A history of previous strokes, heart attacks, or cardiovascular diseases may increase the risk of PVD as these conditions all share similar causes. [Related: What Is the Difference Between PAD and PVD?] Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms PVD often progresses slowly, and its symptoms can be subtle. The symptoms of PVD can vary widely, making early detection and intervention crucial: Rapid leg fatigue during activities.Leg and foot cramps, particularly when lying down.Hair growth reduction in legs.Numbness and tingling sensations in the hands or feet.Skin discoloration of the arms and legs, turning reddish-blue or pale.Weak or absent pulses in the arms and legs.Non-healing wounds or ulcers.Muscle discomfort, such as numbness or heaviness in leg muscles. PVD can lead to intermittent pain, coldness, muscular weakness, and, in severe cases, even gangrene. Understanding these symptoms and risk factors is critical to recognize when treatment may be required. How is Peripheral Vascular Disease Diagnosed? Proper diagnosis of PVD involves gathering relevant medical history information, performing a physical exam, and running various diagnostic tests. These may include the following: AngiogramsAnkle-brachial index (ABI) measurementsDoppler ultrasound flow studiesMagnetic resonance angiography (MRA)Treadmill exercise tests Healthcare professionals use these tests to assess the severity of PVD and recommend treatment plans accordingly. Regular check-ups and monitoring are crucial in effectively managing PVD and avoiding complications. Treatment Approaches for PVD Finding an effective treatment for PVD requires an integrated approach tailored to the individual’s specific condition. Prominent treatment options include: Lifestyle Changes Lifestyle changes are an effective first defense against PVD, serving to both decrease risk factors and enhance blood circulation. Quitting smoking is crucial, as it’s a major risk factor. Cessation programs, medications, and support groups can all assist with quitting smoking successfully. Engaging in regular exercise, adopting a balanced diet low in saturated fats, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling co-existing conditions like diabetes and hypertension are important steps. Doctor-recommended walking regimens and leg exercises also help alleviate pain. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces strain on blood vessels. Heart-healthy diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats have long been recommended to promote cardiovascular health. Individuals living with PVD should consult healthcare professionals to treat co-occurring conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol issues. Medications Medication plays an integral part in managing PVD symptoms and reducing complications. Common medications include: Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs: Statins are commonly prescribed to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, prevent plaque buildup in arteries, and combat atherosclerosis.Antiplatelet Agents: Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel or aspirin, prevent platelets from clumping together on top of plaque buildup. This medication is prescribed primarily to help prevent blood clots.Blood Pressure Medications: Controlling high levels of blood pressure through medication helps to maintain arterial health.Medications for Leg Pain: Cilostazol may improve blood flow and relieve symptoms such as leg muscle pain or fatigue.Other medications: Depending on your condition, your doctor may also prescribe medications to manage blood sugar, blood pressure, and other co-occurring conditions. Minimally Invasive Procedures Minimally invasive procedures have become an increasingly popular way of managing PVD, providing effective alternatives to traditional surgery. These procedures are performed by interventional radiologists and may include: Angioplasty: This minimally-invasive procedure involves inserting a catheter with an inflatable balloon into the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery and improve the blood flow. In some cases, a stent may be placed to keep the artery open. Atherectomy: This procedure involves removing plaques from the blood vessel walls to increase blood flow. Atherectomy uses a balloon and a catheter equipped with a tool that cuts plaque to restore blood flow. Stent Placement: After an angioplasty, or atherectomy, stenting can be done to keep the treated artery wide open. This prevents the narrowing of the vessels treated. Stent placement involves the insertion of a mesh tube (stent) that keeps open treated arteries. Vascular Bypass Surgery For severe cases of PVD, surgical interventions may be required to bypass a blocked or narrowed artery and restore circulation more freely. In severe instances, bypass surgery might even be required; healthy veins or synthetic tubes will be used to redirect blood around these obstructions. This allows blood to circulate more freely and improves circulation. Get the Best Treatment for PVD In Legs Peripheral vascular disease is a serious condition that requires prompt attention and appropriate treatment. Patients need to recognize signs, control risk factors, and receive appropriate treatment for PVD in the legs. Early intervention and adherence to treatment plans can improve the overall quality of life and cardiovascular health of PVD patients. Consultation with healthcare specialists such as interventional radiologists and vascular specialists can provide customized treatment plans tailored to meet your needs. At VISP, your vascular health is our priority. If you or someone you know is suffering from possible symptoms of peripheral vascular disease and peripheral artery disease, don’t hesitate to get noninvasive treatments from our interventional radiologists! Visit us at vispdocs.com, or call 928.771.8477 for more information.
What Are The Types of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)?
What Are The Types of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)? Did you know that about 40 to 45 million adults in in the United States have been diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease (PVD)? Are you one of them too? Peripheral vascular disease, also known as PVD, is a health issue that affects blood flow throughout our veins and arteries. It can present itself in many forms, and we’ll take a closer look about how this disease can manifest in a patient. In this blog post, we’ll look at different types of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), its symptoms and how you can recognize them if it ever strikes you or someone close. What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease? Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is a circulatory disorder that involves the narrowing, blockage, or spasms of blood vessels outside of your heart and brain. It’s a slow and progressive circulation disorder that can affect any blood vessel in the body apart from those supplying the heart and brain. Two Major Types of Peripheral Vascular Disease According to Stanford Medicine, there are two major types of PVD – Occlusive PVD and Functional PVD. Both involve the most common peripheral vascular disease symptoms: blockage and narrowing of the blood vessels. Let’s discuss these further below: 1. Occlusive Peripheral Vascular Disease Under this type are medical conditions that cause blocking or narrowing of arteries that can lead to decreased blood flow. Atherosclerosis Due to a buildup of plaque on the artery walls, this medical disorder causes the arteries to narrow and stiffen. This condition can lead the plaques to burst and can progress into blood clots or a heart attack. Symptoms: Chest pain or discomfortPain in shoulders, back, neck, arms, and jaw Abdominal painShortness of breathFatigueConfusion Buerger’s Disease Also known as thromboangiitis obliterans, this disease causes inflammation and swelling in the small and medium-sized blood vessel walls, typically in the legs and arms. When there is not enough blood flow, blood clots may form and may lead to death around the affected area, which is called gangrene. Symptoms: Pain in the affected areas (hands and feet)Cold hands and feetSkin changes or appearance of small sores Carotid Artery Disease This condition occurs when the carotid arteries, the main blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the brain, become narrowed or blocked. Major risk factors of this disease include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, family history of stroke, smoking, or trauma on the neck. Symptoms: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face or limbsTrouble speaking or understanding speechDizziness or loss of balanceSudden severe headacheBrief loss of consciousness Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) This condition involves a blood clot forming in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. If a blood clot in your leg breaks loose, it can travel to your lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms: Leg pain or swelling Leg crampingColor changes on the leg Lymphedema This is a long-term condition where excess fluid collects in tissues causing swelling (edema). The condition usually affects the arms or legs, although it can affect other parts of the body. Symptoms: Swelling in all or part of a limb or another part of the body Feeling of heaviness or tightness Restricted range of motion Aching or discomfort Hardening and thickening of the skin 2. Functional Peripheral Vascular Disease The medical conditions under this category indicate that there is no current physical damage on the blood vessels’ structure. Instead, vessels widen and narrow in response to various factors like stress and temperature changes. Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) CVI happens when the veins on your leg are damaged leading to too little blood flow back up to your heart, leading to blood pooling in the veins of your lower legs. Symptoms: Swelling, aching, or tiredness in the legs Discoloration of the legsHard, thick skin around the ankles Leg ulcers Raynaud’s Disease This is a condition that affects blood flow to the arteries of the fingers and toes, usually when exposed to cold temperatures or stress. Symptoms: Cold fingers or toesColor changes in the skin in response to cold or stressNumb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or relief of stress Varicose Veins: These are enlarged, swollen, and twisting veins, often appearing blue or dark purple. Symptoms: Aching legSwollen feet and anklesMuscle cramp in legsDry and itchy skin over the veinSkin discoloration [Read More: Vein Specialist Explains: How to Get Rid of Varicose Veins Effectively] Peripheral Vascular Disease vs. Peripheral Arterial Disease Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD): This is a broader term that refers to diseases of any blood vessels located outside the heart and brain. PVD can affect both the arteries and veins. It includes conditions like peripheral artery disease, venous thrombosis (clots in the veins), and lymphatic diseases.Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): This is a subset of PVD that specifically involves problems with the arterial system, or the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to the body. PAD is typically caused by atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque that narrows or blocks the arteries, reducing blood flow to the limbs. [Read More: What Is the Difference Between PAD and PVD?] What Causes Peripheral Vascular Disease? Several risk factors have been associated with PVD. These include: Smoking: This is the strongest and most common risk factor for PVD. It increases the risk of developing PVD by several fold, and smokers tend to develop PVD earlier than non-smokers.Diabetes: People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing PVD.Age: PVD mostly occurs in people over age 60.Prior coronary artery disease: Individuals who have previously suffered from coronary artery disease are more likely to develop PVD. How Is Peripheral Vascular Disease Diagnosed? Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is usually diagnosed based on your medical and family history, a physical exam, and results from tests. Here are some common methods used to diagnose PVD: Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI): It compares the blood pressure in your ankle to the blood pressure in your arm. Angiogram: This test uses X-ray imaging to view your blood vessels. A special dye is injected into the blood vessels, making them visible on the X-ray. Segmental Doppler Pressure Testing: This method checks different parts of your legs for narrowed or blocked arteries using blood pressure cuffs placed at thigh, calf, and ankle levels. Have Your Arteries and Veins Checked By Our Specialists PVD can manifest in various medical conditions, and it is essential to get treated by our vascular specialists at VISP. We commit to providing you with safe and minimally invasive procedures to cure or prevent peripheral vascular disease and peripheral artery disease. Contact us today to set an appointment!
Sclerotherapy Aftercare: Dos and Don’ts
Sclerotherapy Aftercare: Dos and Don’ts If you’ve recently undergone sclerotherapy, a popular painless procedure for treating varicose veins and spider veins, it’s crucial to understand how to take care of yourself during the recovery process. Sclerotherapy is known as one of the best treatments for reducing the appearance of spider veins and small varicose veins as well as improving overall vascular health. However, to ensure optimal results and minimize potential complications, following proper aftercare guidelines is essential. In this blog post, we will guide you through the dos and don’ts of sclerotherapy aftercare, providing you with valuable tips and recommendations to support your healing journey. Whether you’re a first-time patient or seeking a refresher on aftercare protocols, this blog will equip you with the knowledge necessary to make the most out of your sclerotherapy treatment. Read on! What Is Sclerotherapy? Sclerotherapy is a vein treatment procedure used to treat varicose veins and spider veins. This minimally invasive varicose vein treatment uses a solution that is directly injected into the affected veins, which makes them collapse and eventually fade away. The injected solution is typically a saline solution or a chemical solution called a sclerosant which can effectively improve blood flow on the affected part. During the procedure, a vein specialist or a trained healthcare professional will use a fine needle to inject the sclerosant solution into the targeted veins. The treated vessels are glued together and sealed off as a result of the solution irritating their lining. Over time, the body naturally absorbs the sealed vein, and blood flow is rerouted through healthier veins. What Are the Dos and Don’ts After Sclerotherapy? After a sclerotherapy treatment, there are several restrictions and guidelines you are typically advised to follow. While these recommendations may vary depending on individual conditions and the specific instructions given by us, your vein specialist, here are some common dos and don’ts to remember after the procedure: Dos: Wear compression stockings: Follow your vein specialist’s instructions regarding the duration and frequency of wearing compression stockings. They can help promote blood flow and reduce swelling, enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment. Have light exercises: Engage in light physical activities like walking to improve circulation. Moving your legs can help prevent blood clots and aid in the healing process especially if you have had your leg veins treated. Take prescribed medications: If your specialist has prescribed any medications, such as pain relievers or antibiotics, take them as directed. Keep injection sites clean: Keep the injection site clean and dry. Gently wash the area with mild soap and water, and pat it dry. Avoid scrubbing or using harsh chemicals on the treated skin. Stay hydrated: Drink an adequate amount of water to keep your body hydrated and support the healing process. Follow a healthy lifestyle: Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients to promote overall health and healing. Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and grains. Don’ts: Avoid strenuous exercise: Engaging in heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, or activities that put excessive pressure on the treated veins should be avoided for a few days or weeks, depending on the extent of the treatment and your doctor’s recommendations. Strenuous activities can increase blood pressure and hinder the healing process. Avoiding prolonged sitting or standing: Excessive sitting or standing for long periods can hinder blood circulation and increase the risk of complications. It’s generally recommended to take short walks or breaks to keep the blood flowing and avoid prolonged periods of inactivity. Avoiding hot baths and saunas: Hot water can dilate blood vessels, which may interfere with the healing process. Avoid hot baths, hot tubs, saunas, or any other activities that expose your legs to excessive heat for a certain period of time as advised by your doctor. Avoid sun exposure: It is recommended to avoid excessive sun exposure to the treated areas, as they may be more sensitive to sunlight during the healing process. If you have to be outside during the daytime, apply sunscreen with a high SPF to prevent pigmentation changes or cover the treated areas with clothing. Medications and supplements: Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain medications or supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding or interfere with the healing process. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other anti-inflammatory medications, blood thinners, and herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba and fish oil are examples of substances that may need to be avoided. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication or supplement routine. How Many Days Should You Wear Compression Stockings After Sclerotherapy? After sclerotherapy, the duration of wearing compression stockings varies from person to person, depending on factors like the size and location of the treated veins or the type of sclerosing agent used. Although, as a general rule of thumb, most doctors suggest wearing compression stockings for a period lasting between one to two weeks before they decide if you need further treatment. How Long Does The Recovery Process Take? The sclerotherapy recovery process usually takes between 1 to 2 weeks, although the exact duration can vary depending on the size and location of the treated vein. For smaller veins, it may take only a few days to recover, while larger vessels could take four weeks or even longer. In some cases, more than one treatment may be required for optimal results. It is best to discuss these expectations with your doctor before undergoing the procedure. With proper care and follow-up, most patients can expect satisfactory outcomes from sclerotherapy. Let Us Help You Get the Best Varicose Vein Treatment Sclerotherapy is a great way to improve the appearance of your veins, but it does more than that! It can also help your veins achieve a healthier state and improve your blood circulation. Our specialists at VISP have been giving patients noninvasive and effective treatments for various vein problems since 2010. If you’re looking for a reliable clinic to get your varicose vein treatment in Prescott, AZ, our doctors are here to guide and support you throughout the procedure. Learn more about our treatments today!