INTRODUCING IVUS AT GREATER PITTSBURGH VASCULAR ASSOCIATES
Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) uses a transducer or probe to generate sound waves and produce pictures of blood vessels. When used to evaluate the arteries, IVUS can show the entire artery wall and provide important information about the buildup of plaque, which can better diagnose the presence of coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, and iliac vein compression. IVUS has no known harmful effects, and provides a clear picture of soft tissues that don’t show up well on traditional x-ray images.
How is the procedure performed?
IVUS is done in the catheterization lab, also called the cath lab, usually in conjunction with angiography or angioplasty. At Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates, this procedure is done on an outpatient basis. You will be positioned on the examining table. You may be connected to monitors that track your heart rate, blood pressure and pulse during the procedure. A nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm so that sedative medication can be given intravenously. Moderate sedation may be used. The area of your body where the catheter is to be inserted will be sterilized and covered with a surgical drape. Your physician will numb the area with a local anesthetic. A very small skin incision is made at the site. A sheath is first inserted into an artery (usually in the groin) or a vein. Using x-ray or ultrasound guidance, the catheter is inserted into the sheath and gently maneuvered through the vessel to the target location. Once in place, the transducer on the end of the catheter uses sound waves to produce pictures of the blood vessels. Dr. Geskin or Dr. Mulock can then move the catheter to get pictures of the inside of the vessels at different locations. At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed and pressure will be applied to control any bleeding. The opening in the skin is then covered with a dressing. No sutures are needed.
IVUS has many benefits including:
1. showing the presence and amount of plaque in arteries
2. measuring the degree to which the vessel has become narrowed from plaque
3. detection of restenosis
4. more accurate stent placement and reduced incidence of stent thrombosis
5. no exposure to ionizing radiation
Here at Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates, you can always be sure that we provide the latest technological surgical advances that many other doctors and/or hospitals may not provide. Be sure to visit our page for more information.