Minimally Invasive Vascular Procedures

We take your cardiac care to heart.

The risk of developing vascular diseases varies depending on the specific disease. It may be a natural part of the aging process, an offshoot of heart diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood or a genetic disorder passed from generation to generation within families. Whatever the causes are, the cardiac care program at East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is made up of an experienced and passionate team of cardiovascular experts, including cardiovascular surgeons, critical care specialists, physician assistants, cardiac nurses, nurse practitioners and technicians.

Communities and visitors here in the Lowcountry region have available to them a wide range of cardiac care services offered at East Cooper Medical Center. This includes a comprehensive portfolio of diagnostic testing that allows us to identify the appropriate treatment for your condition, such as noninvasive cardiac and vascular tests. Our care doesn't stop there. We offer postsurgical care through a supervised cardiovascular rehabilitation program to monitor your heart health.

We are equipped to provide high-quality minimally invasive treatment options for vascular diseases. Some of the procedures we offer are as follows:

  • Carotid Duplex Scan
  • Temporal Artery Duplex Scan
  • Renal Duplex Scan
  • Lower Extremity Duplex Scan
  • Mesenteric Duplex Scan
  • Thoracic Outlet
  • Extremity Arterial Blood Flow
  • Venous Duplex Scan
  • Vein Mapping by Duplex
  • Noninvasive Aortic Iliac Ultrasound
  • Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair
  • Peripheral Endovascular Angioplasty/Atherectomy And Drug-Eluting Stenting
  • Carotid Stenting to Include Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)
  • Renal Artery Angioplasty
  • Mesenteric Artery Angioplasty
  • Thrombolysis, Endovascular Venous Intervention and Stenting For Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Port Placement
  • Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Placement

What Are Vascular Diseases?

The circulatory system or vascular system, consists of the heart and a complex network of blood vessels running through the entire body. It consists of four major components:

  • Heart - about the size of a person's fist located in the center of the chest, near the lungs. This muscular organ is at the center of the circulatory system which is made up of a network of blood vessels, such as the arteries, veins and capillaries.
  • Arteries - carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body's tissues and organs.
  • Veins - carries blood and waste products back to the heart.
  • Capillaries - tiny blood vessels that connect the small arteries to the small veins. Its thick and leaky walls allow an exchange of materials between the tissues and blood.

Causes of Vascular Diseases

Conditions that affect the vascular system, such as the following are common and can become life-threatening when left untreated:

  • Aneurysm - bulge or ballooning in the wall of an artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to other parts of the body. It can develop and become large without the person knowing it. An aneurysm that grows large can burst and cause bleeding that can lead to death.
  • Atherosclerosis - condition that occurs when plaque or fatty substances build up in the arteries that causes a thickening in the wall of the blood vessels, reducing blood flow throughout the body.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - blood clot that forms when a vein becomes damaged or if the blood flow within a vein slows down or stops. A blood clot that breaks free may travel through the bloodstream and block blood flow to the lungs. This rare condition is called a pulmonary embolism.
  • Coronary artery disease - family of cardiovascular diseases that involves the narrowing or blockage of an artery due to the buildup of plaque. Overtime, this condition weakens the heart muscle and may contribute to heart failure and arrhythmias.
  • Raynaud's disease - rare disorder, syndrome or phenomenon that is marked by brief episodes of vasospasm, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels. This reduces blood flow to the fingers and toes.
  • Stroke - occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, preventing the brain from getting oxygen and nutrients from the blood. This causes brain cells to die within minutes. It is a medical emergency that can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability or even death.
  • Varicose veins - common condition that forms whenever blood pressure increases inside the veins due to pregnancy, constipation, a tumor or obesity.
  • Vasculitis - occurs when the body's immune system attacks the blood vessel by mistake. This may be caused by an infection, medicine or another disease.

The most common risk factors for developing vascular diseases include advanced age; having medical conditions, such as diabetes or high cholesterol; family history of vascular or heart diseases; infection or injury that damages the veins; sedentary lifestyle; obesity; pregnancy and smoking.

What Is Noninvasive Vascular Testing?

Vascular flow studies or vascular tests are performed to detect abnormal flow within an artery or blood vessel. This procedure allows doctors to diagnose and treat a variety of vascular conditions, such as blood clots and poor circulation.

What Does a Vascular Test Consist of?

The following procedures are the most common noninvasive vascular tests:

  • Angiogram – procedure that can be both diagnostic and therapeutic that detects blockages using X-rays taken during the injection of a contrast dye. Angiograms provide vital information that help vascular surgeons determine the best treatment option for a particular condition. The procedure is typically performed using a sedative and may last from 15-20 minutes or up to several hours.
  • Ankle-Brachial Index or ABI Test – uses inflatable cuffs, similar to a routine blood pressure test, to measure blood flow and blood pressure in the arteries on the thigh, calf, foot and toes. This procedure may be performed in an outpatient clinic or vascular laboratory.
  • Carotid Duplex – test that allows vascular surgeons to look for possible blockages by measuring the rate at which blood flows through the carotid arteries.
  • Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) Tests – advanced imaging studies that provide three-dimensional images of blood vessels. This allows vascular surgeons to assess the extent of the disease and the suitable treatment options. 
  • Duplex Ultrasound – evaluates blood flow through your arteries and veins that allows vascular surgeons to make an informed diagnosis and outline the most appropriate treatment plan for a condition.

How Are Vascular Diseases Treated?

Treatment depends on the type of vascular disease and how severe the condition is. The following are some of the most common approaches and treatments for vascular diseases:

  • Having a healthy lifestyle that includes heart-healthy diet and exercise
  • Blood pressure medicines, blood thinners, cholesterol medicine and clot-dissolving drugs
  • Nonsurgical procedures, such as angioplasty, stenting and vein ablation
  • Surgery

Take charge of your heart health. Speak with one of our cardiac specialists at East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant to learn more about your condition and the treatment suited for your unique needs.

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