Did you know there are minimally invasive treatments available for varicose and spider veins, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and other vascular disease conditions? Treatments that are highly effective but less disruptive than traditional surgery? Good news – there are! And they all fall under the medical specialty known as interventional radiology (IR).
Kenneth Spearman, MD, is our board-certified interventional radiologist with a thriving practice that serves patients throughout California’s Central Coast region. He leads our team at Central Coast Vein & Vascular in Arroyo and is passionate about providing the highest quality services possible in a patient-centered environment.
Dr. Spearman is a Harvard-trained expert who is happy to provide more information about the many diagnostic and treatment benefits of interventional radiology.
Understanding the basics of interventional radiology
Interventional radiology is a medical specialty that uses advanced technology to diagnose and treat problematic conditions with minimally invasive techniques that decrease patient risk and improve treatment outcomes.
At the core of IR is the use of sophisticated imaging platforms and other technologies that supply high-definition, real-time views of veins, arteries, and organs inside the body.
This allows us to evaluate the overall function of these systems and to perform various procedures via vein access rather than the open surgery that was once required.
What are the benefits of IR compared to open surgery?
Open surgery requires extensive incisions that are carried through several layers of skin, muscle, and other tissue to reach the targeted area.
For a wide variety of conditions, IR offers the effective results of surgery without the trauma to the body, which decreases your risk of bleeding during and after surgery, infection, and other complications. Also, many of these IR procedures are performed on an outpatient basis which spares you the added stress of a hospital stay.
Without incisions and other effects of surgery, such as bruising to surrounding tissue, minimally invasive IR typically allows you to return to normal activities at a much faster rate than is expected with other techniques.
IR also offers outstanding precision during biopsies, vein treatments, and other procedures that is sometimes difficult to obtain with traditional methods. While it can’t replace all surgical procedures, IR offers superior diagnostic results and effective treatment for many conditions that once required extensive surgery.
What conditions can you diagnose and treat with IR?
At Central Coast Vein & Vascular, we use sophisticated digital-imaging technology to diagnose and treat numerous conditions, including:
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Varicose and spider veins
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)
Specific IR procedures we offer include:
- Angioplasty to open blocked arteries
- Stenting to maintain arterial wall integrity after angioplasty
- Atherectomy to remove plaque deposits
- Thrombectomy/thrombolysis to remove/dissolve blood clots
- Fine-needle biopsy of suspicious lumps and masses
- Fine-needle aspiration and drainage of hematomas, seromas, and cysts
- Paracentesis to drain or biopsy excess fluid buildup in the abdomen
- Thoracentesis to drain or biopsy excess fluid around the lungs
For preventive care, we also offer vascular screenings at Central Coast Vein & Vascular that are designed to help evaluate the health of your circulatory system. This screening is done via noninvasive ultrasound imaging, ankle-brachial index, and Doppler studies to show the speed and directional flow of blood through your vessels.
For more information about IR or to schedule a visit, contact our office today.