Within the modernized and state-of-the-art Good Samaritan vascular suite, many patients have benefited from procedures that treat vascular conditions and diseases. The Suite was updated with new equipment in January 2006. The modern equipment offers greater diagnostic power than ever before, while lessening radiation doses. The radiologists are able to capture exceptionally high-resolution, digitally enhanced images of the smallest abnormalities in the human vascular (blood vessel) system and, in most cases, treat them with minimally invasive procedures. The interventional radiologists, board certified surgeons, registered nurses, specially trained registered radiological technologists and nursing assistants in this suite care for close to 1,200 patients annually who undergo approximately 4,000 procedures.
The procedures performed in the Good Samaritan vascular suite during 2006 to treat vascular and other conditions include angioplasty, arterial stenting, thrombolysis of dialysis grafts and other vessels and diagnostic angiographies. Other services provided by our excellent staff include: arthrectomy, biliary and urological stenting and insertion of percutaneous nephrostomy tubes, inferior vena cava filters, which help prevent pulmonary emboli and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC lines).
In the first procedure, an interventional radiologist inserts a very small balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel through a small nick in the skin. The catheter is threaded under X-ray guidance to the site of the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to open the artery. In some cases, a tiny cylindrical wire mesh tube (a stent) is left behind in the artery to keep it open.
Thrombolysis involves the removal of a thrombus (blood clot) that is blocking one or more arteries. During this procedure, thrombolytic drugs (“clot-busting” drugs) are sent by catheter directly to the clot. (We also use equipment that mechanically removes the clot when necessary.) When the blockage is removed, the tissues normally supplied with blood by the artery are refurbished. In many cases, thrombolysis is used in conjunction with angioplasty.
Patients undergo diagnostic angiography when the physician needs to explore the arteries and veins. The examinations are recorded as digital images. This technology also allows for the interventional (minimally invasive) treatment of non-vascular diseases such as blocked kidneys and obstructed bile ducts. Minimally invasive procedures means that most patients go home the same day and recover much quicker than if they had traditional surgery.
Prevention of Vascular Disease
The vascular system is comprised of the blood vessels: the arteries, capillaries, and veins. Eliminating unhealthy habits such as smoking, a diet high in fat and cholesterol, little or no exercise and obesity can prevent many vascular diseases. Some causes are connected to other diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, while other vascular conditions are predetermined by genetics.
One of the main types of vascular disease is caused when the inside of the artery becomes clogged with cholesterol containing fatty deposits known as plaque. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, lipids (fat), calcium and occasionally blood clots. Another type of arterial disease occurs when the arteries weaken and aneurysms form. A third involves the build up of plaque in one of the two carotid arteries in the neck. Small pieces of plaque can break off from the arterial wall and proceed to the back of the eye or to the brain by going up the internal carotid artery. When the plaques’ destination is to the brain, the result is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
For further information, call the Physician and Health Referral Line at (631) 376-4444.