Please be aware of upcoming office hour changes and closings during the holiday season!
As interventional radiologists in Houston, TX, the doctors at Texas Endovascular Associates take pride in our field. We love helping our patients regain their good health without going through invasive surgeries and difficult recovery periods. And, as it turns out, plenty of people feel the same way!
Recently, MSN.COM included Interventional Radiology among its list of the biggest medical discoveries of the decade. That’s a really big deal—for our doctors and for all the patients we have helped and will continue to serve. Take a look at what they had to say about the type of medicine we practice!
Why Interventional Radiology is a Major Medical Advancement
In the article, Dr. Raj Ayyagari, an Interventional Radiologist at Yale Medicine, explained. “Some of the biggest developments in the last decade…are the advancements of image-guided minimally invasive procedures… With these methods we can cure liver and kidney cancers, shrink enlarged prostates that cause urine blockage (BPH) or uterine fibroids that cause bleeding or pain…we can stop emergency bleeding…create blood vessel access for dialysis… [And] we can unblock vessels clogged with clots (known as DVT or deep vein thrombosis).”
In fact, we perform many of those procedures in our offices in and around the Houston area. How do we do it? The majority of our procedures begin when we make a pin-sized opening in your skin, then navigate catheters through your blood vessels in order to treat your veins and arteries, blood clots and even fibroid tumors.
Better yet, we can perform our procedures without putting you under general anesthesia. That means you’re looking at less down time and lower costs, and, in almost every situation, with the added bonus of no overnight hospital stays.
To quote our colleague, Dr. Ayyagari, “There is a saying about Interventional Radiology – ‘it’s like surgery, only magic!'”
If you are dealing with vein disease, hardened arteries, spider veins or other concerns, we invite you to explore the ‘magic’ our vein specialists can perform. Schedule your diagnostic ultrasound today and see what we’re about.
Recently on the blog, we spent some time explaining the science of blood clots: what they are, why they form and what they can do to your health. Today, we’re going to provide some more helpful information: this is how you can tell if you’re developing a blood clot!
How Can I tell if I have a Blood Clot?
The scary answer to this question is: you can’t always tell when you’re developing a blood clot. Sometimes, blood clots form without any obvious symptoms. But sometimes blood clots form and cause a range of other impacts on your body. Many of those symptoms will depend on the location of your blood clot.
DVT (deep vein thrombosis, a clot in the deep veins of your legs) symptoms include:
· Redness at the site of the clot
· Warm skin
· Pain, without any obvious injury
Pulmonary embolism (a clot that has broken free and travelled to your lungs), symptoms include:
· Shortness of breath for no apparent reason
· An unexplained cough
· Chest pain
· Increased heart rate
If you’re at increased risk for a blood clot (you’ve just taken a long plane trip, you’re pregnant, or have compromised cardiovascular health) see your doctor for any of these symptoms. A blood clot can quickly become a medical emergency.
How Will You Treat My Blood Clot?
Even if it means a trip to the emergency room, see a doctor at the first sign of a clot. If you do have a clot, you’ll need one of two treatments: medication or interventions involving medical devices.
Oral or intravenous (IV) blood thinners can help manage a blood clot. Alternatively, your doctor may insert a wire or catheter to try and open up your blood vessels. Finally, in certain situations, your healthcare provider may surgically remove the blood clot (thromectomy.)
The good news is: blood clot treatments are fairly effective, especially if they are administered quickly. But in order to benefit from these treatments, you must be seen before the clot grows or causes additional damage like a heart attack or stroke. For that reason, we can’t emphasize this enough: seek medical attention at the first sign of a suspected blood clot!
Sources: Us News & World Report
We know that maintaining a regular (physician approved) exercise program can help you slow the progression of vein disease, while also lowering your risk of experiencing associated complications, but we also know that it can be tough to get started.
To help you get motivated, our Texas Endovascular Team regularly shares Move it Monday fitness inspiration! If you like it what you see, incorporate the workout in to your routine! Not your jam? Come back another time for more motivation!
On the schedule this week: A Beginner’s Walking Schedule, courtesy of VeryWellFit.com: Before beginning, check your posture to make sure your chin is up, you’re standing straight, and you’re not leaning forward or backward while you move. Walk at an easy pace for a few minutes before speeding up. Wear supportive shoes and comfy clothing. You can do your walking outdoors, indoors, or on a treadmill.
The Right Way to Begin a Walking Workout Program
Week 1: Start with a daily 15-minute walk at an easy pace. Walk five days the first week. You want to build a habit, so consistency is important. Spread out your rest days, such as making day 3 a rest day and day 6 a rest day.
Weekly total goal: 60 to 75 minutes.
Week 2: Add five minutes a day so you are walking for 20 minutes, five days a week. Or, you may wish to extend yourself more on some days, followed by a rest day.
Weekly total goal: 75 to 100 minutes.
Week 3: Add five minutes a day so you are walking for 25 minutes, five days a week.
Weekly total goal: 100 to 125 minutes.
Week 4: Add five minutes a day to walk for 30 minutes, five days a week.
Weekly total goal: 125 to 150 minutes.
Snags: If you find any week to be difficult, repeat that week rather than adding more time. Do this until you are able to progress comfortably.
As always, check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise programs. If you have any questions about your ability to exercise with an endovascular condition, come in to our offices for a consultation with Dr. Fox or Dr. Hardee.
As Houston area vein doctors, we have helped pioneer the art of minimally invasive vein treatments. We navigate catheters through your delicate veins to treat conditions like varicose veins and peripheral arterial disease. And we do it by relying on 2-D images, usually from X-rays, that stay in front of us during procedures to help guide the way through to blockages or areas that need repair. But now, thanks to a new development in technology, all that may be about to change!
Virtual Reality Technology for Vein Treatments
A new catheter, developed at the University of Washington, has been fitted with electromagnetic sensors that feed real-time imaging from inside the blood vessels to a virtual reality headset. This new catheter would help make interventional radiology procedures far more precise, since doctors will be able to operate with three-dimensional guides. In fact, the electromagnetic sensors could accurately capture the size and shape of the blood vessels as the tool travels through them.
But it wouldn’t just make procedures more precise–VR could help protect doctors AND patients from repeat exposure to radiation by eliminating the need for x-ray technology during minimally invasive vein procedures! And, as an added bonus, VR is cheaper and more transportable than older forms of tech, meaning life-saving vein treatments could become more accessible to patients living outside of major metro areas and far away from vein centers like Texas Endovascular.
We are eagerly awaiting the device’s approval from the Food and Drug Administration, and will keep our readers posted on this and other new developments in vein health and treatments. It is always our honor to bring patients the newest, safest and most precise vein treatments in the Greater Houston area.