I’m nervous about my port procedure. What should I do to prepare?

The physician’s recommendation for you to have a port is made when there is a frequent need to administer medication via a central vein, or when there is difficulty for doctors or nurses to access your veins for blood draws or lab checks.

It’s common to have a case of nervousness before an unknown event, and medical procedures are no different. At our office, one of our interventional radiologists takes care of the procedure from start to finish, after working with your physician to decide on type of port is best for your particular case. We are there to answer questions or concerns before or after the procedure.

Often, mentally preparing for a procedure is as simple as knowing what to expect.

Typically, when a port is put in, a patient is put under conscious sedation, which is a combination of pain medication and a tranquilizer. This combination is designed to relax you and reduce pain, but not put you complete under. It is not the same as general anesthesia. We want you to be comfortable, yet able to breath on your own and speak to the physician if needed.

The physician will make a small incision above your collarbone, and another under your collarbone. A tunnel is formed under the skin between the two openings. The catheter is passed through this tunnel and then gently threaded into the vein. The physician then makes a pocket under the skin, places the port in the pocket, and then sutures the pocket closed.

Afterwards, you may be a little sore, but the pain should be minimal. Your physician will give you detailed care instructions including any movement restrictions, medication instructions and information on how to clean the area.

 

Sources:  VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute,  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Vascular disease runs in my family. What are some things I can do to stay healthy?

 

Vascular disease is the general term for conditions that affect the blood vessels, including heart attack, stroke and coronary artery disease.

Vascular disease is not limited to older adults; it can strike anyone at any age, at any time. If there is a family history of vascular disease, patients should be especially diligent to stay healthy.

You can improve your overall health and risk of developing vascular disease by following these health guidelines.

  • Don’t smoke. And if you do smoke, stop immediately. This also goes for other tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, pipes and smokeless tobacco
  • Adopt healthy eating habits, including plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Avoid excess sugar, sodium, fat and red meat
  • Get regular exercise, at least 30 minutes, four to six times per week
  • Reduce stress, through exercise, meditation or other efforts
  • If you are a diabetic, keep your blood sugar levels under control
  • Take medications if you need them to help lower your cholesterol and lower your blood pressure
  • Get regular checkups from your doctor, and make sure your doctor knows of your family history

 

 

Sources:          Vascular Cures, MedicineNet.com

 

Kind words

We’re so happy when we can help a patient overcome a medical issue. We don’t do what we do for the thanks, but it’s certainly appreciated when we get a letter like this from a patient. We are glad to have helped Mr. Wagle overcome his plantar fasciitis pain with our tendon treatment procedure. Thank you, Mr. Wagle, for your kind words and confidence in our physicians and our practice.

Wagle letter[1]

Dear Mr. Chestnut,

I am writing to offer my thanks and praise. 1 wish to show my appreciation to the following; Dr. Jeffery Elbich, Nancy Lang, Jennifer Salang, Lauren Lipchak, Tiffany Brown, and Deena Omrch. From the very first phone call to my surgery on the 6th I was treated with the utmost respect and friendliness. The rest of your staff I assume is just as
good as these people. They all exhibited the level of professionalism that is beyond compare. VCU can be extremely proud of this facility and its employees.
l was lucky enough to find you by doing a google search on Plantar Fasciitis. After reviewing the excellent information regarding your innovative treatment I immediately made the phone call to schedule a consultation. I had been suffering from intense heel pain for several months. Previously l had seen an Orthopedic surgeon who had me wear a device and go to physical therapy. This only seemed to exacerbate the pain. I was at my wits end when I did the search. Thank God for your web site and l am more than willing to sing your praise to any and all who might suffer from this malady.
May God Bless you and your staff and keep you under His countenance always.

Warm Regards,

John Wagle, III

Why would someone need a vascular ultrasound?

Vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive ultrasound method used in vascular screening to evaluate your blood circulation. A vascular ultrasound may also be called a duplex study since it combines traditional ultrasound and Doppler ultrasound.

  • Traditional ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce off blood vessels to create pictures.
  • Doppler ultrasound records sound waves reflecting off moving objects, such as blood, to measure their speed and other aspects of how they flow.

Ultrasound is noninvasive, meaning the vascular screening exam does not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation or anesthesia. Ultrasound imaging uses a small transducer or probe, and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Since different tissues of the body, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels have different densities, they show up differently on the image.

Your physician may recommend that you have this vascular screening exam to evaluate the blood flow to specific organs in your body. Vascular ultrasound can be used to evaluate:

  • Blockages to blood flow, such as clots
  • Stenosis or narrowing of vessels, which may be caused by plaque or emboli
  • Tumors, congenital vascular malformations or aneurysms
  • Blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body
  • Confirm that a blood vessel graft or bypass is working properly
  • Source and severity of varicose veins

Ultrasounds are generally quick and virtually pain-free. The technologists at the VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute are highly skilled and certified to perform vascular screening ultrasound exams. They work in close collaboration with our physicians to provide the most accurate and useful imaging possible to help diagnose and treat your condition.