BVI Now Offers Both General Diagnostic and Vascular Ultrasound

VCU Baird Kidney ultrasound

The VCU Health Baird Vascular Institute is excited to begin offering both general diagnostic and vascular ultrasound services. The ultrasound technology that gives you the first look at a baby in the womb is the technology that has transformed the practice of medicine — offering a high-resolution, live picture of what is going on in your body and inside your veins. Using ultrasound imaging, we can take a close-up, precise and live-action view of bodily organs, veins, arteries, and the blood moving throughout your body.

Ultrasound is ultrasafe. Unlike ionizing radiation that is used in x-rays or CT scans, ultrasound technology utilizes soundwaves to look inside the body. This means that ultrasound is a very safe and effective way to perform diagnostic imaging. Now with general diagnostic ultrasound we are able to perform:

  • Abdominal scans
  • Kidney scans
  • Testicular ultrasound
  • Thyroid scans
  • Liver doppler…and much more

Why BVI?

Quick turnaround

We know that in most cases, you are anxious to get results. Our ultrasound services are provided with that in mind. We have a flexible schedule and will work to get you in as soon as possible and we are often able to provide same-day appointments.

Convenience

Our state-of-the-art facility offers customized care tailored to the individual needs of each patient – set in a warm and friendly environment located conveniently just off Interstate 195 in the near West End. To set up an appointment, simply call our front desk at 804.828.2600 for immediate service.

Expertise Ultrasound accredited

We’ve brought together leading interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons to provide the Greater Richmond and Central Virginia region with the very best patient experience possible. We offer a level of medical expertise, experience and knowledge usually found only in a major academic medical center – all in a convenient outpatient setting.

It’s flu season – what cancer patients should know

shutterstock_1015666540

Cancer patients are one of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to contagious diseases like the flu. Even otherwise healthy people are left miserable by the flu, but it can be extremely agonizing for people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients.

Flu season is at its worst December through February, but starts as soon as early fall. Most people affected by a case of the flu recover within a couple of weeks at home on their own. However, cancer patients are at an increased risk of complications from the flu, and need to take flu season seriously.

For cancer patients, the biggest concern is the high risk of serious complications if they do get the flu. Not only that, but often in those with weakened immune systems, the flu doesn’t always present itself with the traditional set of symptoms like fever, muscle aches and chills. If you have a compromised immune system because of cancer and start experiencing any flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or coughing — and especially a fever — see a doctor immediately.

There are a few common-sense things you can do to decrease your likelihood of catching the flu, such as:

  1. Avoid crowded places during flu season. This doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit all winter, just use common sense. If you must make a trip to the store, don’t go on a Saturday afternoon when it’s most packed. Chose a time where it won’t be as busy.
  2. Wash your hands. We can’t say this enough – and if soap and water isn’t handy, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel.
  3. Get a flu shot. We understand this can be a scary thought, but it’s important. According to the CDC, “People with cancer or a history of cancer should receive the seasonal flu shot. People who live with or care for cancer patients and survivors also should be vaccinated against seasonal flu.”
  4. If you think you’ve been exposed, call your doctor. The CDC also says, “If you have received cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy within the last month, or have a blood or lymphatic form of cancer, call your doctor immediately if you have been within six feet (1.8m) of someone known or suspected to have the flu. Your doctor may give you antiviral drugs to help prevent the flu. If you have cancer and have not received treatment within the last month, or you have had cancer in the past but are cancer-free now, and you have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have the flu, call your doctor and ask if you should receive antiviral drugs.

With some planning, it’s possible to avoid the flu and any complications, even while undergoing cancer treatment.

 

 

Our Services – Gastric Tube Changes

shutterstock_241844200

VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute is a multi-disciplinary collaboration of interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons. By working in tandem, we can use the most advanced imaging technology to give us the fastest, clearest picture of a patient’s peripheral circulatory system and vascular problems and diseases, pointing us precisely to the right diagnosis and treatment plan and procedures.

It also allows us to provide services outside those of a traditional vascular practice. We can treat the pain of plantar fasciitis and other tendon injuries, place IV ports for long-term care or dialysis, or treat painful, sometimes debilitating, varicose veins. And as a division of VCU Health, we partner with our colleagues at VCU Health Medical Center to refer patients whose conditions require higher levels of care.

We also perform gastric tube changes here in our office – a service we haven’t written much about.

We spoke with Nancy Lang, a member of Baird Vascular Institute’s nursing team about gastric tube changes and what’s involved for the patient.

What is a gastric tube change? For patients that have a gastronomy tube (more commonly referred to as a feeding tube), about every 3 or 4 months they must come in to have the tube changed because it gets clogged or starts leaking. When the feedings become slower going in or the patient is seeing some leaking around the tube, that’s a sign that it’s time for the tube to be changed. Occasionally, a tube will get accidently pulled out and folks have to come in to get it reinserted.

Who needs this service? A feeding tube can be required for several medical conditions, some short term or others that are long term – depending on the patient’s medical needs. Some folks are undergoing radiation treatments and unable to eat solid food. Some people are unable to perform the function of swallowing. Sometimes patients are paralyzed and food doesn’t move through their system very well, so they also require a feeding tube for nutrition.

How long does it take? A gastric tube change is a very quick procedure. The patient comes in and the staff takes their vital signs, the doctor then explains the procedure, then the patient signs a consent form.  Next, the patient is taken back to a sterile procedure room, the staff cleans the area and drape the patient. The physician inserts a wire into the current tube and removes current tube. After the physician gets the tube out, that leaves the wire, and then they insert the new tube over the wire and inflate the tube. An X-ray machine is used during the procedure to guide the insertion process.

Is it painful? The process is not painful. Some people are irritated where the tube has been rubbing, so if the patient is irritated or sore, the physician will use a little numbing medication. Some patients that have had their tube for a long time don’t need to be numbed, it greatly depends on the patient and their tolerance for irritation or minor pain.

What should I know before coming in for a gastric tube change? We generally ask you to not eat for about 4 hours before procedure so that the stomach is empty before the tube is changed. After the tube is changed you can resume normal feeding and daily schedule.

Why is Baird Vascular Institute a good provider for this service? Here at Baird, we have the x-ray equipment right here in the office. Of course, the procedure can be done at the hospital, but it’s a lot more convenient for the patients to come here. We have free, convenient parking, and most of the time we are right on schedule because we’re a small facility. Here, the same nurse stays with the patient before during and after the procedure, so there’s very little waiting – and the patient gets a little more individualized care.

For more information regarding gastric tube changes or any of the other services that are offered at the VCU Baird Vascular Institute, feel free to call 804.828.2600 or visit us on the web at http://www.vcuvascular.com.

What is a DVT?

Baird IVC Filter

Many of the terms that are used when describing vascular diseases and conditions can be very confusing, especially for those seeing them or hearing them for the first time. We make every effort to explain your diagnosis and recommended treatment options as clearly and understandably as possible, but during your visits or while reading our website or doing research, you may come across new terminology.

One condition we haven’t talked at length about is DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that usually forms in the extremities (arms or legs) and if untreated, the clot can break off, travel through your bloodstream and lead to a pulmonary embolus, or blood clot in the lung. This is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition that may require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of DVT include swelling of the affected arm or leg, pain or tenderness, and warmth in the area. If any of these symptoms are noticed, it is crucial that you seek medical advice immediately. However, it’s also possible that a DVT can occur with no symptoms. Usually, a vascular ultrasound is used to determine if a DVT is present or not and will be ordered by your health care provider. If detected, a DVT can be treated medically with anti-coagulants (i.e. “blood-thinners”) and in some severe or urgent cases, through invasive procedures to remove or dissolve the clot.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “deep vein thrombosis can develop if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. It can also happen if you don’t move for a long time, such as after surgery or an accident, or when you’re confined to bed.”

There are some practical steps that you can take to help avoid the likelihood that you will develop a DVT.

  • Maintain a health weight – being overweight will tend to increase your risk for developing DVTs
  • Keep moving – exercise regularly and stay active.
  • Avoid long periods of remaining still.
  • Wear compression socks or stockings that are designed to enhance blood flow.

DVT is also associated with other vascular issues such as varicose veins and peripheral vascular disease. If you have varicose veins, they may also be a sign of a blockage in deeper which is DVT.

We have the latest in technology, techniques and medications to treat vascular disease, ease your pain and help you get back into good health. Call us at (804) 828-2600 to discuss your options.

What is an arteriovenous malformation?

VCU Baird arteriovenous malformation

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are defects in the vascular system, most easily described as an abnormal tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins.

The vascular system includes arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to other organs; veins carry oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. Capillaries connect the arteries and veins. With an AVM, the tangle of arteries and veins disrupts normal blood flow and oxygen circulation.

According to the Mayo Clinic, when an AVM disrupts this critical process, the surrounding tissues may not get enough oxygen, and the affected arteries and veins can weaken and rupture. If the AVM is in the brain and ruptures, it can cause bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage), stroke or brain damage. While AVMs in other areas of the body are generally not a serious health concern, they can often be inconvenient, painful and unsightly.

AVMs can happen anywhere, but they are more common in the brain or spinal cord. Most people with brain or spinal cord AVMs have few, if any, major symptoms. Sometimes they can cause seizures or headaches.

It’s not clear what causes of AVMs. However, researchers believe most people are born with them, but they can occasionally form later in life. While it’s a rare condition to be passed down among families, there are several rare genetic diseases that are associated with AVMs.

AVMs treated at Baird Vascular Institute at VCU Health include those of located on the extremities as well as various locations on the body including the pelvic region. The Interventional Radiologists and Vascular Surgeons at BVI are well equipped to treat these AVMs. Our capabilities also allow us to handle the primary treatment of AVMs that once may have required prolonged hospitalizations. Today, our image-guided expertise makes outpatient care of these conditions possible. Depending on the location and severity of the AVM, we can generally treat these on an outpatient basis by injecting a sclerosing agent – similar to how we might treat some varicose veins. This has the effect of essentially collapsing the vein(s) and having it stick together which prevents blood flow into that area. The body then naturally reroutes blood flow through other vessels to compensate and to keep surrounding tissue healthy.

If you are concerned and think that you may have an AVM, or you have recently been diagnosed with an AVM and would like to speak with us about your options, give us a call at 804-828-2600.

 

 

Physician Profile – Dr. Bailey

VCU Health’s medical staff at Baird Vascular Institute reflects fresh thinking about a collaborative approach to vascular care. VCU Health Medical Center’s Division of Vascular Surgery and Department of Radiology joined forces to create Central Virginia’s only academically based vascular center. We’ve brought together leading interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons to provide the Greater Richmond and Central Virginia region with the best in vascular diagnosis and treatment. Together, they offer area patients and referring physicians a level of medical expertise, experience and knowledge usually found only in a major academic medical center, as well as the most advanced technologies and facilities to support their work – all in a convenient outpatient setting.

Occasionally, we like to highlight some of our physicians on a more personal level. We recently sat down with Dr. Christopher Bailey.

Christopher Willam Bailey

Dr. Christopher Bailey

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Port Charlotte, Florida, a small sleepy fishing town on the Gulf coast.

Would you say you’re a city person or a country person? I’m a hybrid of both. I grew up in a small town, but have done much of my schooling in large metropolitan areas. Both areas have benefits.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Spending time with my wife, hiking with my 2 dogs, sporting events, crossword puzzles, and golf.

Tell us about your family. My wife and I are inseparable. We enjoy being in each other’s company and have been doing so since 2003-ish.

What’s your favorite television show and why? Don’t have one. I do enjoy watching classic black and white films on TCM – a different time period with so much change in between then and now.

What’s your favorite sports team? Depends on the time of year. Tampa Bay Buc’s, West Virginia Mountaineers, Boston Celtics

What’s your favorite book? A Clockwork Orange

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are 3 things you’d want to have with you? Ability to create fire, writing device, and Banyan trees

What’s one thing patients would be surprised to know about you? I’m an osteopathic physician (D.O). Many patients I encounter are unaware and ask me what that means.

What do you like most about working at Baird Vascular Institute at VCU Health? BVI is a relaxed atmosphere with great support staff.

How can Baird Vascular Institute at VCU Health help my heel pain?

baird heel pain

Tendons are the tough, flexible bands of tissue that connect your muscles to the bones in your joints, working together to allow all the twisting, gripping, grabbing, bending and lifting in your busy life. But repetitive pounding motions can cause microscopic tears every time you use your tendon. As you keep at it, these micro tears do not have time to heal properly and, unless treated, can get worse, making you suffer for months or years. This condition is often called simply tendinitis (tendon inflammation), but usually is actually tendinosis, tendon tissue that has simply broken down from the overuse and micro tears.

You know the feeling – it’s gotten a little worse with time. That little twinge you felt on your daily jog has now become a knife-sharp sting in the exact same spot with every step you take, every day. It’s impossible to ignore the pain…and you shouldn’t. Tendon injuries need attention. Sometimes, rest, therapy and a change in activities may ease the pain…but often the damage is permanent, and only gets worse.

Sometimes you can cope with tendon injuries with ice, rest, physical therapy and other treatments – particularly if you stop the repetitive activity and rest as soon as you feel the very first twinges. More often than not, people try coping with the growing pain, on the job or at play. However, if the damage doesn’t heal properly, or if you continue the activity and increase the damage, you risk long-term injury, constant pain – and giving up an activity you love.

We can help. Using precision ultrasound imaging guidance and a minimally invasive treatment, we can delicately remove the damaged tendon tissue and get you back to the activities you love in a matter of weeks – with little to no pain. Unlike other medical or physical therapies, this procedure safely removes the cause of the pain at the source, and unlike many traditional surgical procedures, it is far less invasive, requires far less recovery time – and has a much higher success rate. The treatment requires only a local anesthetic and a tiny incision, and is virtually pain-free. We use a targeted application of ultrasound energy to break down the damaged tendon tissue while leaving surrounding healthy tissue untouched.

We then use an FDA-cleared device to remove the damaged tendon tissue. You don’t even need stitches. The entire treatment takes about 20 minutes.

Most people won’t need any further treatment, such as physical therapy. You wear a walking boot for a week or two while the area heals. The most common post-procedure problem reported is some soreness, which can generally be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and typically lasts less than a week. In a recent study, doctors reported no other side effects. More than 25,000 people have had the treatment since 2012, with a high rate of satisfaction. In most cases, patients are back to the activities they love in six weeks or less.

Call us at (804) 828-2600 to discuss whether image-guided treatment is the right option for you.