Part of the important work that we do at the Vascular Institute of Virginia is to work alongside clinical oncologists to help improve patients’ quality of life as they tackle cancer. Our team performs various treatments and procedures, including mediports, biopsies, tumor embolization or ablation, kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty, central lines, and IVC filter placement. We’ll briefly discuss each here.
A port is a small device inserted beneath the skin on the arm or chest. The device connects to a narrow, flexible catheter that also connects to one of the large central veins that transports blood to the heart. The port and line deliver necessary medication, such as chemotherapy drugs. Alternatively, a mediport may be used for blood draws and transfusions as a way to eliminate multiple needle-sticks in patients who need frequent bloodwork or infusions.
A biopsy is a tissue sample for diagnostic purposes. Biopsies can be obtained from any part of the body. The tissue or cell sample obtained is sent to an independent laboratory. Doctors receive biopsy results in two to four days. Biopsies are performed using local anesthesia that numbs the area. In some cases, patients may undergo a biopsy with anesthesia and conscious sedation. Common areas from which biopsies are obtained include lymph nodes, soft tissue, bone, liver, kidneys, and muscle.
Tumor embolization and ablation are two procedures performed to reduce blood flow to a cancerous tumor. The embolization procedure does so by sending small spheres to the area where the tumor lives. Ablation works by freezing or burning the tumor using special probes inserted through a tiny nick in the skin. The probe is guided by MRI, ultrasound, or CT imaging.
Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are each performed to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spinal column. They also restore stability to the bone and height to the vertebral body. These procedures are performed with proper anesthesia and image guidance to achieve accurate positioning at the affected vertebra.
Central lines are beneficial to patients needing long-term medication or blood draws. The presence of the central line eliminates the need for multiple needle-sticks in the arms. There are a variety of central line configurations that may be used, increasing the doctor’s ability to meet the needs of each patient.
Deep vein thrombosis is a concerning condition in which blood clots develop in the veins in the legs or pelvis. The concern is that a blood clot may break up, sending pieces through the veins to the lungs. The purpose of the IVC filter is to trap clot fragments and prevent them from passage through the vena cava to the lungs and heart.
Vascular Institute of Virginia proudly serves the medical community and patients in Fredericksburg, Fairfax, and Woodbridge. Contact us today to schedule your visit.