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Vascular Diagnostics

Testing that is offered during an office visit by experienced, specialized vascular ultrasound specialists are:

  • Carotid Artery Duplex (Ultrasound) – Used to evaluate for blockage in the carotid arteries.

  • Abdominal Artery Duplex (Ultrasound) - Used to evaluate for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

  • ABI/PVR – Ankle-brachial index used to measure blockages in either the legs or arms that is non-invasive

  • WBI/PVR – Wrist-brachial index

  • VVI Duplex – Venous Valvular Insufficiency study to diagnose varicose veins with faulty valves

  • Venous Ultrasound – Used to evaluate for a blood clot in either legs or arms

  • Arterial Ultrasound – Used to evaluate the blood flow in the legs or arms, usually performed after an intervention in follow up.

  • AVF Duplex – Ultrasound to evaluate your ArterioVenous Fistula after placement and prior to hemodialysis.

  • Vein Mapping – Ultrasound study used to measure blood vessel sizes and lengths to evaluate prior to surgery

Vascular Services

As our experts utilize the latest technology and techniques in vascular care, our patients experience more precise and less painful treatments than ever before. Our care team wants to help you further understand your condition and treatment options. 

Procedures We Perform:

(Same-day procedure:  the patient is discharged to home on the same day as the procedure.)

Angiogram – A same-day procedure that allows your vascular surgeon to view the blood flow to your legs or arms to evaluate for blockages or other abnormalities. Your surgeon may proceed to an intervention such as angioplasty (balloon) and/or place a stent in the blockages while you are on the table at the same time, still allowing you to go home the same day. These procedures are performed to improve blood flow to your legs and enable you to walk further and have less pain in your legs than before surgery. It may also be performed to help you heal foot wounds. Depending on the angiogram findings, your surgeon may determine the best course of action will be to perform surgical bypass. This will be discussed with you after the angiogram. Angiograms are performed through your groin in the femoral area and require a few days of restriction from lifting more than 10 lbs.

Peripheral endovascular Intervention - A same-day procedure that allows your vascular surgeon to balloon (angioplasty) and/or place a stent in a blockage in either your legs or arms allowing for greater blood flow and decreased symptoms. These procedures allow you to ambulate further and have less pain in your legs or help foot wounds heal. These procedures are performed through the groins in the femoral area and require a few days of restriction from lifting more than 10 lbs.

Peripheral Bypass – A procedure performed in the operating room to bypass the blockages in your legs using either your own veins, or a graft. These procedures usually require admission to the hospital, but are done to improve the blood flow to your legs to prevent limb loss. Normal length of hospital stay after a bypass is 2-5 days.

AVF/AVG (arteriovenous fistula or graft) – Performed for patients who need to undergo hemodialysis and need a permanent access placed, usually done in either arm, and as a same-day procedure.

Renal Artery Intervention – performed as a same-day procedure where a balloon and/or stent are placed to fix narrowing in the renal arteries leading to your kidneys.

Carotid Endarterectomy – Performed if your surgeon sees a blockage in your carotid artery leading to your brain that can lead to stroke. This usually requires an overnight stay and is done to clean out the cholesterol build up in your carotid arteries in order to decrease the risk of stroke.

Carotid Stent – Performed if your surgeon sees a blockage in your carotid artery. This allows for better blood flow to your brain and prevention of stroke. This requires an overnight stay in the hospital.

EVAR – Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Repair – This is done to repair a bulge in the main blood vessel in your abdomen, called the aorta. The aorta is the main blood vessel in the body, extending from your heart to your belly-button area. This procedure is performed in a minimally invasive fashion through your femoral arteries in your groins. An endovascular graft is placed through the groins and requires an overnight stay. There are mild weight-lifting restrictions and several days of no driving immediately after the procedure.

Open Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair – Sometimes the bulge in your blood vessel (aorta)does not meet criteria for an EVAR, and must be done as an open surgery. This requires an incision in your abdomen and a graft is sewn into place, replacing the diseased portion of the aorta. On occasion, this is performed as an emergency, if the aorta has ruptured. The goal of the Dare to Care screening is to identify aneurysms before they rupture and repair them with an elective well controlled procedure.

TEVAR – Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair – This procedure is done to repair an aneurysm or diseased portion of aorta. The aorta is the main blood vessel in the body, extending from the heart to your belly-button area. The aorta in your chest is called the thoracic aorta. This is similar to the EVAR in that it is minimally invasive, done through your groins. It does require 1-2 overnight stays in the hospital.

IVC Filter Placement – A small device is placed in your vein to prevent a blood clot from travelling to your lungs. This is done through the groin and is a same-day procedure. It can also be removed at a later date.

Catheter-Directed TPA – Medication that is placed through a catheter to deliver clot-busting medication to a precise area where the blood clot is blocking blood flow. This usually requires an overnight stay to observe for any bleeding and for resolution of the blood clot.

Temporal Artery Biopsy – Completed on the blood vessels in your temple to rule out certain inflammatory vascular conditions. Completed in the Operating room as a same-day procedure.

Venous Ablations – Completed in the office in a short procedure to seal off the varicose veins that cause pain and swelling.

Microphlebectomies – Completed in the office in a short procedure to remove pieces of enlarged veins that cause pain and swelling.

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Dare to Care Vascular Screening Program

daretocare logoWhat is Dare to C.A.R.E.?

Dare to C.A.R.E. is a highly-successful, national vascular screening and disease management program, which AtlantiCare is bringing to our area in partnership with the Heart Health Foundation. The goal of Dare to C.A.R.E. is to identify those patients at-risk for vascular disease as early as possible – providing earlier intervention, more options, better outcomes, and greater quality of life. 

Why are we bringing Dare to C.A.R.E. to the communities we serve?

In the areas served by AtlantiCare, we have a significant population with risk factors for vascular disease, including:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Family History

What are the effects of vascular disease? Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one out of every three deaths in the U.S. Each year, nearly 800,000 people have a stroke; of those, more than 600,000 are first time strokes Because conditions associated with vascular disease don’t usually have symptoms, many people may be impacted by disease right now and not even know it Early diagnosis, treatment and management of vascular disease are key to preventing heart attacks, strokes, limb amputations and even death in affected patients. View our full breadth of Vascular Services.

What does the Dare to C.A.R.E. screening include?

Patients are screened for:

  • Carotid artery disease – responsible for more than half of the strokes that occur each year in the U.S.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) – the 3rd leading cause of death in men over age 60
  • Extremity artery disease (PAD) – affects 1 in 20 people over the age of 50 and can lead to limb loss (amputation)

Who is considered to be at-risk for vascular disease and eligible for a Dare to C.A.R.E. screening?

DaretoCare

Is there a cost for people to be screened?

All screenings are FREE to anyone who is determined to be at risk of vascular disease.

What is the process for getting a Dare to C.A.R.E. screening?

Call the dedicated Dare to C.A.R.E. phone line at AtlantiCare: 609-484-7355. A scheduler will find a date and time which is convenient for you. You will receive a reminder phone call about 24-48 hours in advance of your scheduled screening. Arrive for your screening at AtlantiCare about 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time to fill out a brief questionnaire, you’ll get checked in and have your screening done. A technologist will conduct your screening, a vascular physician specialist will read your results. Your results will be sent to you and your doctor within about two weeks. 

How can I schedule a screening for myself or a family member?

Call AtlantiCare’s dedicated Dare to C.A.R.E. phone line: 609-484-7355.

How long does a screening take?

The screening itself takes only about 15-20 minutes.

What happens to the results?

Once your screening is completed, your results are entered into the software and reviewed by a physician, a letter will be sent to you and your primary C.A.R.E. physician, explaining the results.Depending on the findings and individual risk factors, recommendations will be made as to any necessary course of action or treatment options.

Is there anything else I should know about Dare to C.A.R.E. at AtlantiCare?

If you or someone in your family fall into one of the at-risk categories – make the call, schedule a screening!

FAQs about TAVR

What is aortic stenosis?

It is a cardiac condition that causes abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve, which impedes blood flow to the heart and can lead to heart failure. Its symptoms include fainting, chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath and lung congestion.

What happens if I do not receive aortic valve replacement?

Articles* indicate that among symptomatic patients with medically treated moderate to severe aortic stenosis, mortality from the onset of symptoms is approximately 25% at one year and 50% at two years.

*Source: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/150638-overview

What is TAVR?

It is a minimally invasive procedure that delivers a replacement valve via catheter while the heart is still beating.

Who is a candidate for TAVR?

Patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis who are not eligible for open-heart surgery or are at very high risk, either due to age, history of heart disease, frailty or other health issues.

What are the risks and possible complications of TAVR?

While many people with severe aortic stenosis deemed too high risk for surgery have benefited from TAVR, this procedure is considered a major interventional/surgical procedure. Our TAVR team determines your benefit versus risk of TAVR based on your past medical history and current physical condition. Please share important medical information, ask questions, and share your concerns when you meet our TAVR doctors.

Call 1-888-569-1000 to learn more or to schedule an appointment

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