South Florida Vascular Associates South Florida Vascular Associates

Monday, October 31, 2011

High Tech Treatment helps to Effectively Eliminate Plaque Build-up from Atherosclerosis

If you suffer from atherosclerosis, our endovascular surgeons offer a very safe and effective procedure called an atherectomy to eliminate the build-up of plaque in your arteries.

You may need this procedure if your arteries become too narrowed or blocked from plaque inside the artery walls. When arteries are blocked, blood cannot get through to nourish the tissues, causing the muscles of the lower extremities to cramp and lose strength.

Atherectomy has been very effective in the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) below the knee and it helps to reduce pain caused by walking to heal non-healing wounds by improving circulation. It also has been an effective treatment for limb salvage of the lower extremities. Atherectomy is especially helpful for treating blockages in arteries that occur around branches or in vessels that are not easily treated with stents.

The procedure is done in our office, as opposed to a hospital setting, in one of our state-of-the art endovascular suites. Local anesthesia is used with a mild sedative if needed. During the procedure a catheter is inserted into the artery through a small puncture in the groin. The catheter has a tiny sharp blade on the end which spins around at a very fast speed and sands away the plaque from the blood vessel to open the vessel and re-establish better blood flow. The plaque is scraped away and collected in a chamber in the tip of the catheter for removal. If you have a significant amount of plaque, the catheter can be passed multiple times in order to remove large amounts of plaque.

Depending on the amount of plaque build-up a patient has, the procedure usually takes about two hours. Atherectomy most often results in immediate relief of the symptoms of atherosclerosis.  There are typically no side effects and patients can usually begin normal activities several days after the procedure.

This procedure is not ideal for everyone. Each patient is evaluated, and treatment will be individualized for the patient's circumstances.

To find out if you are a candidate for this procedure contact our office for a consultation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Do you Suffer from Varicose Veins?

At South Florida Vascular Associates we use the latest, state-of-the-art techniques for the treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiencies
 Venous insufficiency involves one or more veins. Valves in the veins usually push the flow of blood toward the heart. When these valves are damaged, the blood leaks and pools in the legs and feet. This condition may also be caused by a blockage in a vein from a clot (deep vein thrombosis).

Chronic venous insufficiency is a long-term condition. It occurs because of partial vein blockage or blood leakage around the valves of the veins.
Risk factors for venous insufficiency include:
•    History of deep vein thrombosis in the legs
•    Age
•    Being female (related to levels of the hormone progesterone)
•    Being tall
•    Genetic factors
•    Obesity
•    Pregnancy
•    Prolonged sitting or standing 
•    Dull aching, heaviness, or cramping in legs
•    Itching and tingling
•    Pain that gets worse when standing
•    Pain that gets better when legs are raised
•    Swelling of the legs
•    The tortuous blue vein disease seen running down the leg
•    Areas of small red/blue blood vessels in the skin known as spider veins
    Use compression stockings to decrease chronic swelling.
    Avoid long periods of sitting or standing. Even moving your legs slightly will help the blood in your veins return to your heart.
•    Aggressive wound care should be taken if any skin breakdown or infection occurs
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT)
 EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure where light emission (heat) from a laser fiber beam is used to cauterize, or seal,  the inside of the varicose vein wall. This method closes the unhealthy, refluxing vein. EVLT is an alternative to both traditional surgery such as vein stripping. EVLT requires minimal access to the vein.

If you suffer from any of the symptoms above, contact our office for more information on how we can help you to alleviate painful, unsightly varicose veins.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Dr. Swee’s Specialized Endovascular Surgical Skills Enhances Treatment Options for Patients Suffering from Complex Vascular Diseases

COCONUT CREEK, FL (October 12, 2011 ) – South Florida Vascular Associates (, an office-based clinical practice specializing in image-guided, minimally invasive endovascular surgeries, today announced that Warren Swee, MD, MPH, a fellowship trained and board certified Vascular and Interventional Radiologist has joined the practice.

Dr. Swee will work with William Julien, MD, Medical Director of South Florida Vascular Associates, to offer cutting-edge endovascular surgical techniques to treat patients who suffer from a wide array of vascular diseases including Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a condition in which plaque build-up causes a narrowing of the arteries which diminishes normal blood flow to the lower extremities.
People with vascular diseases are typically treated in a hospital setting. South Florida Vascular Associates (SFVA) is one of few office-based, endovascular practices in the region that can treat patients outside of the hospital. “I am very privileged to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Julien and to provide high quality care in a well-developed office based practice”, said Dr. Swee. SFVA is equipped with 3 in-office endovascular surgical suites where our physicians perform over 1,000 image-guided endovascular surgeries a year. This is done in the comfort of a state-of-the-art facility using the latest technology to treat vascular conditions. “We are pleased that Dr. Swee has joined our practice”, said Dr. Julien. “The addition of Dr. Swee’s specialized training in the treatment of advanced limb threatening peripheral artery disease adds to our vision of offering the most comprehensive endovascular services in a fully-equipped, private, comfortable setting to our patients”, said Dr. Julien.
Dr. Swee earned his medical degree and Master’s of Public Health degree from the George Washington School of Medicine and Public Health. He completed his residency through the Vascular and Interventional Radiology Clinical Pathway at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA., where he was awarded Clinical Resident of the Year. Dr. Swee then completed a fellowship in Vascular & Interventional Radiology from the University of Virginia Health System, where he later served as Assistant Professor of Radiology.

He is board certified in Vascular and Interventional Radiology by the ABR (American Board of Radiology) and board certified in Endovascular Medicine by the ABVM (American Board of Vascular Medicine). He is also a member of the American Medical Association, the Society of Interventional Radiology , the Society of Vascular Medicine, , and the American College of Radiology.

For more information visit us at or 954-573-2929.

Media Contact:
Debbie Liebross
M.D. Media Connection
954-436-3644- (office)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Varicoceles Can be Treated with a Minimally Invasive, Painless Procedure

Varicoceles are a tangled network of blood vessels or swelling of the veins on the testicles. It is similar to varicose veins in the legs, but in this condition a vein called a gonadal vein has weak defective valves resulting in the blood pooling in varicose veins in the scrotum. It is a relatively common condition affecting approximately 10% of men usually in their 20's or 30's. Sometimes, varicoceles do not cause any symptoms and are not harmless, but sometimea they can cause pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage) or fertility problems.

Very often varicoceles are treated through open surgery in which an incision is made in the skin above the scrotum, cutting down to the testicular veins and tying them off with sutures. This open procedure is done as an outpatient procedure in a hospital, under general anesthesia, with a 2-3 week recovery period.

South Florida Vascular Associates offers a minimally invasive varicocele embolization procedure that is performed under twilight anesthesia. A small tube is inserted through a small nick in the groin and a small catheter is painlessly guided into the abdomen and into the varicocele vein under the guidance of x-ray imaging. The vein is sealed off by plugging it with small metal coils and a special medication is used to dissolve the excess veins. This painless minimally invasive procedure takes only 30 minutes and the patient goes home several hours later with a band aid at the puncture site.The patient can resume normal non-exertion activities immediately. Obviously, this procedure is much easier on the patient.

If you have a varicocele and would like more information call our office to schedule a consultation or send a comment through our blog.