Procedures and Treatments

The Vascular Center provides a variety of outpatient procedures and treatments in a safe, comfortable and convenient setting. Below is a list of all the services we offer at many of our facilities:

Dialysis Access

AV Fistula – A procedure to join an artery and vein within your body to create an access point for hemodialysis. Once the fistula “matures” and gets stronger, it provides a permanent access with good blood flow that can last for decades.

AV Graft – Used when a patient is not a good candidate for an AV Fistula, this procedure joins an artery and a vein at both ends of an artificial tube. A patient can begin dialysis sooner with an AV Graft than an AV Fistula, but the graft will only last about 2-3 years.

Fistulogram – A test to look for problems or abnormalities within a dialysis graft or fistula that may be impacting dialysis. This can include a narrowing of the vessel (stenosis), a blockage (acclusion) or abnormal enlargement (pseudoaneurysm).

Hemodialysis Catheter Placement – Because hemodialysis requires direct access to the bloodstream, a temporary access may be required before a permanent access can be created. A catheter may be placed in the neck, chest or leg near the groin to enable the patient to begin hemodialysis with minimal delay.

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Catheter Placement – This short surgical procedure places a permanent access catheter in the abdomen. About 6 inches of the catheter will remain outside of the body. This takes between 2 and 4 weeks to heal before you can start peritoneal dialysis.

Vessel Mapping – This test uses ultrasound to determine the quality of arteries and veins within the body. It is typically performed before a fistula is created to help determine both the type of fistula that should be created, as well as the best location to do so within the body.

Peripheral Arterial and Vein Diseases

Angioplasty – A procedure to open a narrow or blocked coronary artery to restore blood flow to the heart. During the procedure, a thin tube (catheter) is used to place a small balloon at the site of the blocked artery. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel. Usually, a stent is then placed in the opening to keep the artery open and blood flowing.

Atherectomy – An atherectomy is a procedure that uses a thin tube (catheter) with a sharp blade at the end to cut and remove plaque (atherosclerosis) from the wall of a large blood vessel, usually in the legs. This procedure can be used for both arteries and veins.

Stent Placement – A stent is a stainless steel wire mesh that is inserted into a blockage within a blood vessel and expanded permanently to keep it from closing again. The procedure is used to open a blockage and keep blood flowing to the heart and body.

Thermal Ablation – A procedure typically used to treat varicose veins, thermal ablation involves the use of high heat to cauterize (seal off) an abnormally enlarged vein within the body. Blood flow is routed to other, nearby healthy veins, and the sealed off vein is eventually absorbed by the body and disappears.

Thrombolysis/Thrombectomy – These minimally invasive procedures effectively dissolve or remove blood clots in arteries and veins resulting from thrombosis, DVT, embolism and other causes. The techniques are image-guided, include a contrast injection to help define the blood vessel. Thrombolysis uses clot-dissolving medication, placement of a stent or both. In thrombectomy, the clot is grabbed and slowly removed from the vein or artery.

Pain Management

Kyphoplasty – An interventional radiology technique to treat fractures caused by osteoporosis. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the injection of medical-grade bone cement directly into the fractured bone. Prior to the injection, an orthopedic balloon is inserted and gently inflated inside the fractured vertebrae to restore height to the bone.

Vertebroplasty – A similar treatment for vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy. As with kyphoplasty, bone cement is injected into the spine, preventing further deterioration and relieving pain within hours of the procedure.