At Carson Surgical Group
What Is Peripheral Arterial Disease?
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is the term used to describe diseases that affect the arteries; the muscular tubes that carry blood throughout the body. PAD occurs as a result of calcium build up in the lining of the artery with resultant thickening, hardening and blockage of the artery. These artery blockages make it more difficult for blood to reach the vital organs and extremities. PAD commonly attacks the carotid arteries (blood vessels in the neck carrying blood to the brain) and the arteries to the legs. Blockages from PAD can cause strokes, leg pain with walking, and even limb loss. In addition to blockages in the arteries, PAD can cause weakening in the wall of the artery resulting in an abnormal enlargement of the entire artery.
Why Should I Be Screened?
PAD can affect any blood vessel in the body and may have no symptoms in the early stages. This is unfortunate since 4 out of 5 stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to a stroke. When symptoms appear, the disease may have already progressed significantly.
Technological advancements in ultrasound imaging of blood vessels now affords us a fast, easy, painless and non-invasive way to determine if you have PAD and to assess your risk if the disease is present. The first time you could learn that you are at serious risk of PAD is when you have a stroke or ruptured aneurysm. Don’t wait until it is too late! When we can find PAD early, the chances for successful treatment greatly improve.
Frequently Asked Questions
We offer three types of painless ultrasound screening exams.
Carotid Arteries / Stroke AssessmentWe use high quality ultrasound imaging to check for plaque build-up in the major arteries that feed the brain. Blockage in these arteries can lead to stroke. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 6 men will experience a stroke. 4 out of 5 of these victims will never have any warning signs prior to the stroke.
Abdominal Aorta (For Aneurysm)Using state of the art ultrasound machines we will check for enlargement (aneurysm) in the Aorta, the main artery that runs from the heart through the trunk of the body and supplies oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the kidneys, intestines and legs.
Peripheral Arteries (Arteries In The Legs)Utilizing advanced physiologic testing we will evaluate the quality and quantity of blood flow getting to your feet which allows us to assess the amount of plaque build-up in the leg arteries. Significant plaque in the legs can cause pain, weakness and fatigue and lead to loss of limb. You are also 5 times more likely to die of heart disease if you have PAD (peripheral arterial disease).
- High Blood Pressure
- Lack of Exercise
- High Cholesterol
- History of Smoking
- Family Histoy of any of the above
- Family History of Aneurysms, Stroke, and/or Vascular or Heart Disease
S.A.V.E: Stands for Surveillance Arterial Vascular Evaluation. While we also use this program to vein disease, the program specifically targets the two fundamental problems with vascular disease; it is Silent and it is Progressive. The Program is specifically designed to provide efficient and effective follow-up for patients with vascular disease. The objective is to identify those patients that require early intervention or reintervention for their vascular disease before it becomes a significant threat to life or limb. Think about it this way: If we take your appendix out, it will never regrow. However, PAD always recurs over time. The goal of the S.A.V.E. program is to save the patient from either an emergency surgery or a more extensive reconstructive procedure.
Our vascular ultrasound labs are fully credentialed, staffed by board certified vascular ultrasonographers, and overseen by Medical Director, Dr. Kevin Halow MD. You will be scheduled for surveillance ultrasound testing based upon the arteries affected, any surgery that you have had, and the extent of your vascular disease. All scans are performed by registered vascular technologists and interpreted by either Dr. Kevin Halow, MD or Dr. Shannon Beal MD. Our labs utilize well-established criteria from the Society of Vascular Surgery and the Society of Vascular Ultrasound in determining the follow-up intervals and testing for each patient. Once you have undergone your scheduled exam, our ultrasonographers will give you immediate feedback on the results of your scan and one of our staff will contact you, by phone or mail, if needed, with any additional final results. If the results of your studies document stability, you will be scheduled for follow up studies per our protocol. The intervals for your studies may initially be as short as three months, but if your tests remain stable, your intervals will increase over time. Finally, you will also be periodically scheduled to see one of our Mid-levels for a clinical exam as another measure to ensure that your vascular disease remains in check. It is important to remember that the imaging exams are only part of the equation:
- It is extremely important that you inform the staff of any new or recurrent symptoms while in the program.
- If your symptoms recur between your scheduled ultrasound exam dates, do not wait for your next ultrasound exam—make an appointment to be seen!
- If either your scans change or your symptoms change or recur, you will be brought in for an evaluation and exam by the surgeon.
Carson Surgical Group Varicose Veins Treatment
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are swollen veins that typically have a blue or dark purple appearance. Often times, the veins are twisted and they’re bulging out from the skin. Varicose veins are usually found in the legs, but they can happen in other parts of your body as well. If you have varicose veins, you might be worried about how they will affect your health. Additionally, they have a significant impact on your appearance. For these reasons, you need to educate yourself on varicose veins causes so that you can determine the course of action for your condition.
Experience the Revolution
The VNUS Closure procedure is a less invasive alternative to vein stripping. A small catheter is placed in the diseased vein. Then, the use of radio frequency energy is used to close the vein by heating the vein wall and causing contraction of the vein wall which will result in the closing down of the vein.
The VNUS Closure procedure has little or no discomfort associated with it. With over 95% of veins being permanently closed, this procedure has a high degree of success.
- Swollen Limbs
- Heaviness and Fatigue
- Skin Changes and Ulcers
- Tired, Achy Legs
Frequently Asked Questions
Many factors contribute to the presence of venous reflux disease including:
- Multiple Pregnancies
- Standing Profession
- Family History