Patients undergoing cancer therapies can benefit from certain interventions, many of which are performed by a vascular specialist. At the Metropolitan Vascular Institute in Waldorf, MD, we perform a variety of these treatments. They include mediports, biopsies, tumor embolization or ablation, kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty, central lines, and IVC filter placement.
A mediport is a small implanted device that a vascular specialist places beneath the skin on the chest or arm. When in place, a narrow, flexible tube connects the mediport to one of the large central veins that delivers blood to the heart. This device enables the patient to receive medication such as chemotherapy drugs through the port rather than through multiple IV pokes. Mediports may also be used as an access point for blood draws and transfusions. In this role, the mediport can reduce or eliminate multiple needle-sticks for patients who routinely need bloodwork or infusions.
Doctors regularly rely on biopsies to accurately confirm or rule out the presence of cancer cells in a growth or a bodily organ. Tissue or cell sampling may be performed on the liver, kidneys, muscle, bone, soft tissue, or lymph nodes. The procedure is performed using local anesthesia, so patients experience minimal discomfort, if any. Conscious sedation may also be administered to reduce feelings of anxiety during the procedure. Biopsied tissue is sent to an independent lab, and the doctor typically receives lab results in two to four days.
One of the objectives of cancer treatment may be to reduce or destroy a tumor. One of the primary ways to do this is to cut off the blood supply that is feeding tumor growth. Embolization blunts blood supply by delivering small spheres into the vascular system around the tumor. Ablation uses heat or freezing via special probes inserted through a tiny incision. To achieve accurate tissue location, ablation is guided by CT, ultrasound, or MRI imaging.
Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
This two-step procedure may be recommended for the treatment of painful vertebral compression fractures in the spine. During the procedure, the doctor may insert a small catheter with a balloon on the end into the affected vertebrae. The inflation of the balloon restores proper vertebral height before they then fill the space with medical cement. The cement, or plasty, hardens very quickly, restoring both structure and stability to the once-fractured bone.
Patients requiring long-term blood draws and/or medication may be good candidates for a central line. This medical device eliminates the need for frequent needle-sticks for blood draws or IV infusions. Central lines are made in a variety of configurations, enabling the specialist to develop the most appropriate delivery system for each patient.
Blood clots in the deep veins in the legs or pelvic pose significant concerns for pulmonary embolism and death. Known as deep vein thrombosis, these blood clots may dislodge or release smaller clots, which can then travel through the vena cava and reach the lungs or the heart. An IVC filter is a device that a vascular surgeon inserts to trap clot fragments, preventing them from reaching vulnerable areas.
Metropolitan Vascular Institute proudly serves patients in Waldorf, MD and surrounding areas. To schedule a visit, contact us at (301) 374-8540.