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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Can Diet Improve Your Blood Circulation?

A healthy circulatory system is responsible for the steady flow of blood, oxygen, nutrients, and disease-fighting immune cells throughout your body. Without the circulatory system, the body would not be able to fight disease or maintain a stable internal environment.

In a unhealthy circulatory system, you could have poor blood circulation which can occur from fatty plaques known as atherosclerosis, and blood clots that block the normal flow of blood through the arteries into your limbs. Atherosclerosis raises your risk of vascular and heart disease contributing to peripheral artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

Studies have shown that by adding certain foods to your diet such as garlic, fruits and whole grains, you can help to keep your blood vessels healthy and improve circulation. Below are some of the super foods you might consider incorporating into your weekly diet.

Fiber Helps Reduce Cholesterol

If you have poor blood circulation because of atherosclerosis, your cholesterol levels may be high so reducing these levels can help improve your artery and heart health. The National Institutes of Health recommends eating a diet that contains less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day. Foods that contain fiber, such as whole grains, oats, apples, bananas, pears, and legumes such as lentils, kidney beans and chick peas can help to lower your cholesterol which in turn increases healthy blood flow and reduces your risk or cardiovascular disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Thin the Blood

Adding fish such as wild salmon, albacore tuna, trout, oysters and anchovies to your weekly diet gives you essential omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to fish, avocados and nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. The healthy fat in omegs-3 helps to lower unhealthy fats called triglycerides in the blood, reduce blood pressure, thin the blood and reduce your risk of blood clots. Recommendations for fish are to eat two to three servings of fatty fish per week.

Garlic -A natural blood thinner that can improve blood flow to your limbs. Researchers gave healthy volunteers a daily dose of 600 milligrams of garlic supplements for seven days. Blood samples from the group showed that blood flow in their calf muscles improved significantly after taking garlic. This is particularly important for individuals with varicose veins or clots in their arteries. Whole garlic has similar benefits if you eat 2 to 4 grams of fresh, minced garlic cloves per day. If you are taking any medication, consult your doctor before using any natural remedy.

Oranges- High in vitamin C and considered to be a natural blood thinner and are said to strengthen capillary walls and prevent plaque build-up which leads to poor circulation.

Dark Chocolate- Cocoa contains flavonoids which is naturally found in plants and fruits and has been well linked to improving blood circulation. A study published in the Circulation Journal showed that dark chocolate rich in natural flavonoids improved blood circulation when compared with white chocolate with no flavonoids.

Cayenne pepper is available as a fresh pepper or dried spice and has been associated with increasing metabolic rate and strengthening arteries and blood vessels. Cayenne pepper is best eaten raw in salads or juiced.

Sunflower seeds- Rich in vitamin E which is shown to help keep blood clots from forming. They are great at helping improve circulation.

Watermelon- Rich in lycopene which is a natural antioxidant linked to improving circulation. Lycopene is a natural pigment which gives certain foods their reddish color. Tomatoes, pink grapefruit and apricots also contain lycopene.

If you suffer from poor circulation and cardiovascular disease and are under the care of a physician consult with your physician before implementing this diet.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Extensive Holiday Travel Can Put You at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis

The holiday season is upon us and during the holidays many of us plan long distance trips to visit family and friends either by car or by plane that may require many hours of sitting.

Sitting on a plane or in a car for long periods of time can put you at risk for developing a serious blood clot known as a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). We even have a name for a DVT that occurs as a result of a lengthy flight, "Economy Class Syndrome".

The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that one in 1,000 people develop DVT each year. A DVT is the development of a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs. When the circulation of the blood slows down due to inactivity, illness, or injury, blood can accumulate or "pool," which provides an ideal setting for clot formation. Blood clots in deep veins can grow in size, break loose, and then travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, resulting in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Travelling on long trips, sitting at a desk all day or even being bed-ridden for a long period of time can cause blood clots to form. If you are a person who travels or sits a lot, we encourage you to be aware of these potential symptoms below and seek medical attention immediately.

Generalized swelling of the affected leg
Affected leg may be larger than the other leg
Affected leg may feel warm and be redder than the other leg
Pain or tenderness in the calf or thigh when it is touched or squeezed or with movement or      standing. Calf or thigh pain may become constant and increase with squeezing or movement.

Below are some helpful tips to help keep your blood circulating during your travels

If travelling by car, stop every couple of hours and get out and walk around. If you're on a plane, try to get up and walk every 30-60 minutes, if possible.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other substances that may produce dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids – preferably water.
While sitting on the plane or in the car, try to raise your toes and flex your calves. This motion causes your calf muscles to contract and promotes the flow of blood in the veins in the legs. This can help prevent blood from pooling and forming a clot.

If you know that you have risk factors for DVT, consider talking with your physician before travelling to discuss whether compression stockings for your legs are needed.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to visit your favorite people in far-away places. Enjoy yourself, but while enroute, be sure to perform the simple exercises listed above to keep your blood circulating and your leg veins healthy.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Does Crossing Your Legs Cause Varicose Veins?

Contrary to an old wives tale: a study in the journal Blood Pressure Monitoring determined that crossing your legs while sitting has no or little impact on whether you’ll develop varicose veins. Actually, sitting with legs or ankles crossed has no immediate effects on your health however, if you sit with your legs crossed for long periods of time without moving your legs or changing your position, it has been shown that blood pressure rises temporarily and additional stress is placed on your hip joints.

If you sit a lot or have a job that requires you to sit behind a desk for long periods of time and you develop tingles in your legs, the best thing to do is to take breaks and walk around the office. Tingles in your legs can be caused by the temporary restriction of blood flow so walking around will improve your blood circulation and wake up your muscles and get them working.

It is also recommended for those who sit for long periods of time do light exercises while sitting down. Below are a few exercises to try and they should be done several times a day to keep your blood flowing through your legs.

Lift your feet off the ground and flex them up and down to enable fresh blood to flow through your legs
Flex and release the muscles in your legs starting at your toes and working upwards
Place a foot rest under your chair to keep your legs and feet elevated, this position helps with circulation
Stand and stretch several times per day
Massage your legs

As long as you keep moving your legs, blood will continue flowing through your veins to keep your legs healthy and reduce your risk for varicose veins.

If you do suffer from unsightly, painful varicose veins or spider veins, doctors at South Florida Vascular Associates  Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson, offer several minimally-invasive vein treatments to treat varicose veins and circulation problems, including endovenous laser ablation (EVLT), sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

“Movember”, No-Shave November - Raises Awareness for Men's Health Issues

November is Men’s Health Awareness Month also known as Movember. Movember is a campaign in which men can participate by growing a mustache or facial hair to arouse conversation and raise awareness of men’s health issues. As many men are not great at scheduling regular doctor visits, Movember is a time to encourage men to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease.

Movember supports men’s health issues such as depression, physical inactivity, prostate cancer, testicle cancer, and other medical conditions that are prevalent in men. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases is expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030.

Gender is one of the strongest predictors of health and life expectancy. For men, this is not good news. On average across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women. In addition, poor mental health affects men more than women, in fact three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute.

The aim of this cause is to increase early detection of cancer as well as other male related illnesses. Early detection enables physicians to implement treatment plans that can potentially save lives. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re not interested in growing facial hair, the Foundation's also hosts a "MOVE in Movember" challenge which encourages men and women too, to be physically active throughout November. Move in Movember is a great way for men who suffer from peripheral artery disease to be more active. Walking and bicycling are some of the best forms of activity to keep the blood flowing through your legs.

So here’s to all of the men out there… at South Florida Vascular Associates, we urge you take the time to think about your health and schedule annual doctor appointments; be aware of any family history of medical conditions that could potentially affect you, stay active, eat healthy, and live longer, healthier, lives.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Studies Show That Drinking 2 Cups of Beetroot Juice Daily Can Lower Your Risk of Peripheral Artery Disease

Did you know that beetroot juice is loaded with multiple essential vitamins and minerals and is one of the healthiest super-foods out there? Many people aren’t particularly fond of the taste of beetroot juice but there are so many health benefits to be derived from it and so many tasty recipes you can create with them that you must not miss out.  Beyond supplying the body with an array of nutrients, beetroot juice also has tangible positive effects on your energy levels, peripheral artery disease and cardiovascular health.

Beetroot juice is a natural multivitamin accompanied by a large amount of mineral content. It is loaded with high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamins B1, B2 and B3. Mineral wise, beetroot juice contains a long list of valuable nutrients: potassium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium and iron. In addition, beetroot juice contains protein in the form of a complete set of amino acids.

Because of all of the natural nitrates contained in beetroot juice, it has the ability to increase stamina and lower blood pressure. The evidence of this finding comes from a British study from The London School of Medicine. The study determined that the nitrate levels in 500 milliliters of beetroot juice a day had a measurable effect on blood pressure reduction. The findings also showed that not only did the nitrates in the beetroot juice reduce blood pressure just few hours after ingestion, but the positive effects still registered a full day after ingestion.

The exact reasons behind how nitrates actually reduce blood pressure is still being studied, but researchers believe that the natural nitrites in beet juice may act as a blood vessel expander that improves circulation.
Beetroot juice has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. The widening of blood vessels caused by nitrate ingestion not only improves circulation, but also decreases the risk of heart disease, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and vascular disease. Studies show that by expanding the blood vessels, the nitrates in beetroot juice supply more blood and oxygen to the heart. Not only does beetroot juice dilate blood vessels to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, it also reduces the amount of oxygen muscles need during physical activity. This muscle effect makes it much easier for people of all ages, no matter what their health condition is, to perform both low- and high-intensity physical activities. In fact, researchers noted that those who drank beet juice required 12 percent less effort to walk than those who did not drink it. Two cups of beetroot juice daily are recommended for increasing nitrate levels to a degree that's beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

While scientific interest in beetroot juice has only gained momentum in the past few decades, reports of its use as a natural medicine dates back to Roman times.  In fact, beetroot juice has been shown to lower inflammation, increase brain function and helps to supply more oxygen to the muscles of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to extend their time until exhaustion by 15 percent when exercising.

By no means is beetroot juice a replacement for the necessary medicines prescribed by your physician. It is a natural supplement that is showing to be very effective for many chronic illnesses but should not be expected to cure them on its own.

If you are interested in adding beetroot juice to your diet, it is available on the market:
Beet-It is highly concentrated so you may want to hold your nose and down a shot or two rather than a full glassful, making it a supplement rather than food. Unbeetable, developed at Wake Forest, is sweeter and slightly carbonated. Among the side effects of the juices are pink urine and stools, with a small fraction of people having beet allergies

Please enjoy trying these easy recipes for adding the benefits of beets and beetroot juice to your diet.

7 Delicious Nutritious Beetroot Juice Recipies

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

South Florida Vascular Associates Now Offers Minimally Invasive Treatment for Advanced Stage Metastatic Liver Cancer

South Florida Vascular Associates and Dr. Curtis Anderson are pleased to announce the availability of SIR-Spheres® microspheres to treat patients with metastatic liver cancer. SIR-Spheres microspheres are the only fully FDA PMA approved microspheres for colorectal cancer that has metastasized (cancer that has spread from a primary source) to the liver.

Our doctors are now offering this new minimally invasive treatment radioembolization, using yttrium 90 (Y90) beads for primary or metastatic liver cancer that can extend survival time and provides new hope to patients with liver tumors.

The procedure, performed in a hospital setting as an outpatient involves placing a catheter from an artery in the groin or arm into the artery supplying blood to the liver. Radioactive beads are then administered through the lobe of the liver into the tumor(s).
SIR-Spheres Y-90 Microspheres Carried By Blood Flow
The beads contain Y90, which is highly radioactive but only delivers high energy radiation less than ½ inch (1 cm) from where the beads are deposited. Therefore, tumors and surrounding liver tissue receive high doses of therapeutic radiation while nearby organs are spared.

Clinical studies have confirmed that patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with SIR-Spheres microspheres have response rates higher than with other forms of treatment, resulting in increased life expectancy, greater periods without tumor activity and improved quality of life. SIRT has been found to shrink liver tumors more than chemotherapy alone.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer and your current treatment plan is not working for you, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians to determine if you are a candidate for SIRT. We have 3 convenient office locations, Coconut Creek, Plantation and Boynton Beach for your convenience.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September is Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month: Know the Facts

Do you know that peripheral artery disease (PAD) is one of the most widespread chronic diseases and it currently afflicts almost 20 million U.S. citizens? September is PAD Awareness Month, a time to create awareness about this disease and learn the facts so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent it and/or keep it under control.

The information in this blog was published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We are sharing this fact sheet with our readers because it contains important information to help you learn more about PAD.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Fact Sheet

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) in the Legs or lower extremities is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs. It is primarily caused by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis. PAD can occur in any blood vessel, but it is more common in the legs than the arms.

Prevalence of PAD (%) by Age Group (years)
The chart reflects the percentage of prevalence of PAD in men and women by age group and how it increases with age.

Risk Factors for PAD

High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Older than age 60

A normal artery is shown on the left with no blockage. The right artery shows how it's been narrowed by plaque (atherosclerosis), causing decreased blood flow, and PAD.Men and woman are equally affected by PAD; however, black race/ethnicity is associated with an increased risk of PAD. People of Hispanic origin may have similar to slightly higher rates of PAD compared to non-Hispanic whites. Approximately 8 million people in the United States have PAD, including 12-20% of individuals older than age 60. General population awareness of PAD is estimated at 25%, based on prior studies.

Other clinical conditions and disorders of arteries can mimic the symptoms of PAD, and not all PAD is due to atherosclerosis.3-4

Signs and Symptoms of PAD

The classic symptom of PAD is pain in the legs with exertion such as walking, which is relieved by resting. However, up to 40% of individuals with PAD have no leg pain. Symptoms of pain, ache, or cramp with walking (claudication) can occur in the buttock, hip, thigh, or calf.3

Physical signs in the leg that may indicate peripheral arterial disease include muscle atrophy, hair loss, smooth shiny skin, skin that is cool to the touch especially if accompanied by pain while walking (which is relieved by stopping walking), decreased or absent pulses in the feet, non-healing ulcers or sores in the legs or feet, and cold or numb toes.

Preventing PAD
  • Physical activity and exercise are important for preventing PAD and for improving symptoms of PAD.
  • Avoid use of tobacco—smoking increases the risk of PAD by 2-6 times and it worsens the symptoms of PAD.
  • Control high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.
  • Supervised exercise training programs can improve and prolong walking distance in individuals with PAD.

Diagnosis and Treatment of PAD

In patients with symptoms of PAD, the ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a non-invasive test that measures the blood pressure in the ankles and compares it with the blood pressure in the arms at rest and after exercise. Imaging tests such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and computed tomographic (CT) angiography can provide additional information in diagnosing PAD.2-4

Individuals with PAD are at risk for developing coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin or other similar anti-platelet medications may prevent the development of serious complications from PAD and associated atherosclerosis.
All efforts must be made to stop smoking.Severe cases may require surgery to bypass blocked arteries.

Allison MA, Ho E, Denenberg JO, et al. Ethnic-specific prevalence of peripheral arterial disease in the United States. 2007 American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2007;32:328-333.
Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et. al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2011 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2011;123:e18-e209.
Creager MA, Loscalzo J. Vascular Diseases of the Extremities. In: Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Kasper DL, et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17e ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2008.
Rooke TW, Wennberg PW. Diagnosis and Management of Diseases of the Peripheral Arteries and Veins. In: Walsh RA, Simon DI, Hoit BD, et al., eds.: Hurst’s The Heart. 12e ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2007.
Hirsch AT, Haskal ZJ, Hertzer NR, et al. ACC/AHA 2005 Practice guidelines for the management of patients withi peripheral arterial disease (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic): Circulation. 2006;113:e463-654.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

SFVA Now Performs Minimally Invasive Balloon Kyphoplasty to Repair Spinal Fractures in Our Unique, In-office State-of-the-Art Operating Suite

If you have osteoporosis or have a history of metastatic cancer in the bones and you suddenly develop back pain or your back pain worsens, you could be experiencing a spinal fracture and should seek medical attention immediately. Very often spinal fractures go diagnosed and untreated because patients are not aware of the symptoms. Some spinal fractures can be very painful, yet others are often mild so you might not be aware that you have one.

Once you’ve had a medical consultation, diagnostic studies such as x-ray or MRI are done to determine whether your bones are weakening, osteoporosis, or if there is a tumor present in the vertebra and a fracture is seen. A minimally invasive treatment called Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty can be performed to repair the fracture by using small balloons to gently elevate the fractured vertebra, returning it back to its normal position, relieving your pain.

Until recently, Balloon Kyphoplasty was mostly performed in a hospital setting however, our board certified, interventional radiologists Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson now perform the procedure in our state-of-the art, in-office operating suite where they have the latest medical equipment available for optimal results. During the procedure the doctors use X-ray guidance to insert a small metal rod through a tiny opening in the skin and into the affected vertebra. Next, a small balloon is inserted through the tube and into the bone, where it is inflated to create a cavity and restore the height of the vertebra. The balloon is then removed and medical-grade bone cement is injected into the cavity in the bone to stabilize and strengthen it. Patients benefit by a shorter surgical and recovery time and return home the same day. Long-term pain relief occurs almost immediately, within hours of the procedure as well as improvement of mobility and a better quality of life.

                        The video below is an animation of a Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty
                                           procedure provided to us by Medtronic


If you have a spinal fracture as a result of osteoporosis or a metastatic bone tumor and you think you might be a candidate for Balloon Kyphoplasty speak to one of our interventional radiologists at South Florida Vascular Associates today.

Monday, August 10, 2015

David's Story: Varicoceles in Young Men

In June of 2014, 19 year old David began feeling discomfort and heaviness in his left testicle. He had no idea what was causing the discomfort and thought that resting and icing it would help but there was no relief. When he noticed that the testicle began to swell, this gave him reason for concern.

David first consulted with a urologist about his discomfort and was sent for a testicular ultrasound that confirmed he had a varicocele in his left testicle. 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 the gonadal vein has weak, defective valves, resulting in the blood pooling in varicose veins in the scrotum.

A varicocele is a relatively common condition (affecting approximately 10% of men) that tends to occur in young men, usually in their 20s or 30s, but can also develop in younger men and adolescents. In fact, varicoceles develop in 17% of boys between the ages of 13 – 25. Varicoceles are also known to cause infertility issues.

The urologist suggested David undergo a surgical treatment, varicocele surgical ligation. This procedure involves an open incision above the scrotum, general anesthesia, and 2 to 3 weeks of down time. David was willing to try anything to relieve himself even it if meant going under anesthesia, but he did some research on the internet and came across Dr. William Julien an expert endovascular surgeon at South Florida Vascular Associates who performs a procedure called varicocele embolization (VE). VE is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that requires only a tiny cut in the skin, "twilight" sedation, and almost no downtime. This sounded like a much better option.

Dr. William Julien Explains Varicocele Embolization (VE)

Upon examination, Dr. Julien explained the embolization procedure in depth and also told David that the procedure only takes 30 minutes and he could go home a few hours later with only a small bandage at the puncture site. In addition, he would be able to immediately resume non-exertional activities. Of course, David opted to go with varicocele embolization.

“David had VE on June 24, 2015, and the surgery was a huge success.  “I was not in much pain after the surgery and within 10 days post-surgery, I was pain free”, said David. It took a couple of weeks before the swelling went down but for the most part he was feeling on top of the world! The embolization procedure was David’s first surgery and he was nervous but the surgery was quick and easy. David says the staff was wonderful making sure I was comfortable all the way through and Dr. Julien was awesome, he explained everything to me and eased my concerns. I was also extremely pleased with the care that I received from the time I arrived until they let me go home. David says, it’s so important to educate yourself and know your options before undergoing surgery. Until he learned of varicocele embolization he was ready to go through a painful surgery and long recovery time. I’m so happy that I pursued other options and found the right procedure for me. I feel great, says David and it was so easy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Study Shows Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is Safe, More Improved and Patients Recover Faster

Nearly 40,000 Americans undergo elective surgery per year to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) with the goal of preventing a life-threatening rupture. A new study from researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center compared open surgical repair of AAA with a catheter-based procedure and found that the less invasive endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) has clear benefits for most patients, providing both a safer operation and a quicker recovery. The study was published July 22 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

An aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel becomes abnormally large or balloons outward. The abdominal aorta is a large blood vessel that supplies blood to your abdomen, the pelvis, and legs. When a weak area of the abdominal aorta grows, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).  AAA can develop in anyone, but it is primarily seen in men over 60 with one or more risk factors. The larger the aneurysm, the more likely it is to rupture which can cause massive internal bleeding and can be fatal. When diagnosed early, abdominal aortic aneurysms can be treated, or even cured, with highly effective and safe treatments.

Aneurysms can be caused by inflammation in the aorta, which may cause its wall to break down. Some researchers believe that this inflammation can be associated with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Besides atherosclerosis, other factors that can increase your risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm include:      
  •  Being a man older than 60 years
  •  Family History of AAA
  •  Having high blood pressure
  •  Smoking
Many people do not feel any symptoms with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Occasionally, patients can experience:
  • A pulsing feeling in the abdomen, similar to a heartbeat
  • Severe, sudden pain in your abdomen or lower back. If this is the case, your aneurysm may be about to rupture.
If your aneurysm ruptures, you may suddenly feel intense weakness, dizziness, or back pain, and you may lose consciousness. This is a life-threatening situation and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) has become widely used to treat AAA as compared to traditional open surgery. During the study, researchers found that EVAR was superior to open surgical repair and that this minimally invasive procedure has been increasing and improving over time. Findings also suggest that even as sicker patients have undergone EVAR, the short- and long-term outcomes have continued to improve with favorable outcomes.

Endovascular treatments have many benefits including: patients typically leave the hospital sooner and recover more quickly, have less pain and a lower risk of complications and lower mortality than traditional surgery because the incisions are smaller. Sometimes traditional surgery is required if the shape or the location of the aneurysm is not favorable for an endovascular treatment.

According to the lead author of the study Marc Schermerhorn, MD, AAA rupture is still a common cause of death. “Because there are typically no warning signs, heightened awareness among patients and physicians is needed. AAA can be diagnosed with a simple ultrasound and can now often be treated with an effective, durable, minimally invasive approach”, said Schermerhorn.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Do you Suffer from Unsightly, Painful and Embarrassing Varicose Veins?

People who live in warm climates such as South Florida, often enjoy wearing bathing suits, shorts and skirts, but if you are a person who suffers from unsightly varicose veins, revealing your legs can be embarrassing.

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and enlarged veins that can be seen under the skin. They are often red or blue in color usually appearing in the legs, but can occur in other parts of the body. These veins are common and affect more women than men and they don't cause problems for most people. However, in some people, especially if left untreated, varicose veins can lead to serious conditions, such as leg swelling and pain, blood clots, and skin changes.

Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Age (more common as you age)
  • Gender (more common in women)
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • History of blood clots in your legs
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Aching or cramping leg pain
Leg fatigue
Feeling of heaviness or throbbing in the leg that worsens as the day progresses

 The good news is you don’t have to suffer from these unsightly, painful varicose veins anymore. At South Florida Vascular Associates we offer an in-office, minimally invasive procedure called Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT). EVLT is a reliable and simple way to treat varicose veins without painful surgery.
                                                              Watch our Video on EVLT 

In the past, a patient would undergo a procedure called vein stripping, a very painful surgery with weeks of downtime. EVLT is a procedure that uses heat from a laser fiber beam to cauterize the inside of the of the vein wall. The energy from the laser then works to close the unhealthy vein and reduces the tension in the veins that appear on the surface of the skin. Once the problematic vein is permanently closed, the body then reroutes the blood to healthier veins returning the blood back to the heart.

Advantages of Endovenous Laser Ablation:

  •  Treatment typically takes less than one hour
  • Provides immediate relief
  • Avoidance of general anesthesia
  • Minimized recovery period and immediate return to normal activities
  • No scarring or stitches
  • Lower rate of complication
  • Higher success rate and durability of the procedure relative to surgery

If you are one of the many people who agonize over the discomfort of varicose veins we invite you to visit our office to consult with one of our board certified, endovascular surgeons. Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson have treated thousands of patients who have had life-altering experiences after having EVLT. It’s painless, easy to tolerate and it’s performed in the comfort of our office. Contact us today at 954-725-4141.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gentlemen: Are You Having Difficulty with Infertility or Experiencing Pain in Your Scrotum?

If you and your partner have been trying to conceive a baby and are having difficulty, you could be suffering from varicoceles. Varicoceles are enlarged varicose veins that occur in the scrotum. They are fairly common, affecting approximately 10% of men, usually in their 20’s and 30’s. Very often, varicoceles occur in the left testicle. Sometimes, varicoceles cause no symptoms and are harmless, but sometimes a varicocele causes pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage), or fertility problems.

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 the gonadal vein has weak, defective valves, resulting in the blood pooling in the varicose veins in the scrotum.

Varicoceles can cause fertility problems because they are thought to raise the temperature of the testicles or cause blood to back up in the veins supplying the testicles. Although the exact cause of why varicoceles affect fertility is poorly understood, varicoceles seem to help damage or kill off the sperm. Varicocele repair is typically recommended to improve the fertility of men who have both a varicocele and impaired sperm.

Treatment for varicoceles may be done surgically, but minimally invasive procedures should be considered before deciding what to do. Traditional surgery can mean painful, open surgery with general anesthesia and 2 to 3 weeks of down time, but that can be reduced significantly with alternative methods that reduce pain and swelling.

Our board certified interventional radiologists, Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson, recommend varicocele embolization, the least invasive treatment option for men. The procedure is fast and painless and you can usually return to normal activities right away. Varicocele embolization (VE) is a 30 minute, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure performed at our in-office operating suite. VE requires only a tiny cut in the skin, "twilight" sedation, and almost no downtime. Our endovascular physicians are experts when it comes to treating varicoceles without surgery.

View our video about Varicocles Embolization


The advantages of varicocele embolization include:

  • It is performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation (general anesthesia is used for varicocele surgery).
  • It is performed on an outpatient basis in our office endovascular suite, not in a hospital.
  • There is no surgical incision in the groin, only a tiny hole in the skin where a catheter is placed.
  • A patient with varicoceles on both sides can have both fixed at the same time through one vein puncture site (surgery requires two separate open incisions).
  • It is as effective as surgery, as measured by improvement in pain, semen analysis, and pregnancy rates.
  • There is a lower rate of complications compared to surgery; infection has not been reported after embolization.

To find out more about minimally invasive varicocele treatment, we invite you to contact South Florida Vascular Associates to schedule a consultation at one of our 3 convenient locations in Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, or Plantation, Florida. Call us today: (954) 725-4141.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Do You Know That Drinking Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Clogged Arteries?

If you love your cup or cups of java, you will be happy to learn about the results of a recent study. The study, which was published in the journal Heart, shows those who drink an average of 3-5 cups of coffee per day could have a significant decreased risk of atherosclerosis, plaque build-up in the arteries and lower risk of heart attacks.

Coffee contains more than 1,000 chemicals, including antioxidants that may be contributing to health benefits. Part of the benefit seems to stem from coffee’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control which, in turn, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, a strong risk factor for clogged arteries.

The research examined more than 25,000 Korean men and women average age of 41 with no symptoms of heart disease and were categorized as people who drank none, less than one cup a day, three to five cups per day and five or more per day.

During a yearly health exam, the participants were asked about what they ate and drank. They all had CT scans to determine how much calcium had built up in their heart arteries. The researchers then compared the calcium build-up with how much coffee participants drank.

Researchers determined that the presence of coronary artery calcium (CAC) - an early indicator of hardening of the arteries, (atherosclerosis) and heart disease- was lowest among the group that drank between three and five cups.  It was also determined that people do not have to drink large amounts of coffee to see positive results. Those who drank 1-3 cups per day had less calcium present compared to their non-coffee drinking counterparts. Researchers also found that as coffee consumption rose, the amount of calcium build-up declined especially in those who drank three to five cups a day having the least amount of calcium build-up.

Although the study was done on people in South Korea, Dr. Eliseo Guallar, professor and co-author of the study from the department of epidemiology and medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, expects the findings would be similar for American coffee drinkers. While the study cannot show a direct cause-and-effect relationship between coffee and reduced calcium in the arteries, the association between these factors is very strong.

If you are not a coffee drinker, researchers say that there is no reason to start since the greatest findings are in those who drink 3-5 cups per day. Also remember what you put in your coffee may not be advantageous to your health such as creamers, whipped cream and lots of sugar.

Bottom line: enjoy your "joe", it may better for you than you thought!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Congratulations to Dr. William Julien: Newly Elected President of Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society

We are proud to announce that our Medical Director, Dr. William Julien
Dr. William Julien
has been elected as President of the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society (OEIS).

OEIS is a multispecialty/multidisciplinary society that was established in 2013 for Vascular Surgery, Interventional Cardiology and Interventional Radiologists to establish the highest standards of safety, successful surgical outcomes, top-notch care for patients, cost effectiveness, types of equipment needed, and research to demonstrate that in-office based operating facilities are a good place to perform interventional procedures.

Dr. Julien’s experience as one of the first interventional radiologists to implement an in-office, outpatient facility provides him with the knowledge of what it takes to successfully lead the OEIS Society as President.  He has always understood the need for quality patient care and has developed his practice model as one in which he sees his own patients and treats many of them in his fully-equipped, sophisticated, endovascular surgery suite. Dr. Julien runs a well-credentialed operating suite and has always placed a strong emphasis on the importance of patient education, proper diagnosis, and optimal treatment plan for each patient. His practice has been highlighted as a model for the next generation of interventional radiology practices.

Dr. Julien brings many years of hands-on experience at South Florida Vascular Associates in Coconut Creek, Florida to the Society and as President of OEIS, Dr. Julien plans to increase membership, help develop practice guidelines, offer research programs, and provide educational meetings, to name a few. We congratulate Dr. Julien on his newly elected position.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Uterine Fibroids; What You Need to Know -Women's Health Awareness

Earlier this month we honored National Women’s Health Week, an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health.

In honor of Women’s Health Awareness Week, we would like to educate you about a common health problem that many woman face; uterine fibroids.

What You Need To Know

Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus and are almost always benign (not cancerous). They can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them in the uterus. They can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a grapefruit. In unusual cases, they can become very large.
About 20 percent to 80 percent of women develop fibroids by the time they reach age 50 and are most common in women in their 30’s and early 40’s. Not all women with fibroids have symptoms, however women who do have symptoms often find fibroids hard to live with. Some women experience pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Fibroids also can put pressure on the bladder causing frequent urination, or the rectum, causing rectal pressure. If fibroids grow to become very large, they can cause the abdomen to enlarge, distending their belly.

Some fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but many women with fibroids can experience:

Heavy bleeding or painful periods
Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area
Enlargement of the lower abdomen
Frequent urination
Pain during sex
Lower back pain
Complications during pregnancy and labor, including a six-time greater risk of cesarean section
Reproductive problems, such as infertility

 Factors that can increase a woman's risk of developing fibroids:

Age. Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.
Family history. Having a family member with fibroids increases your risk. If a woman's mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.
Ethnic origin. African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.
Obesity. Women who are overweight are at higher risk for fibroids. For very heavy women, the risk is two to three times greater than average.
Eating habits. Eating a lot of red meat and ham is linked with a higher risk of fibroids. Eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women from developing fibroids.

No one knows for sure what causes fibroids. Researchers think that more than one factor could play a role. These factors could be:

Hormonal (affected by estrogen and progesterone levels)
Genetic (runs in families)

 Fibroids may need to be treated to reduce symptoms and pain. In the past, treatment usually involved surgery – removing the uterus through a hysterectomy, or removing the fibroids from the uterus through a myomectomy.

While these options are generally effective, they require general anesthesia and lengthy recovery times and they carry the risk of surgical complications. Many women are not candidates for a myomectomy because of the size, number, or location of their fibroids. Fibroids commonly recur after myomectomy.

Doctors at South Florida Vascular Associates offer a procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), or uterine artery embolization which is used to treat fibroids. It is a minimally invasive procedure in which the blood flow of the uterus is intentionally reduced, causing the fibroid tumors to shrink. It alleviates or improves fibroid symptoms 90% of the time.

Our board certified, interventional radiologists perform uterine fibroid embolization in our beautiful, state-of-the art outpatient facility without the need for hospitalization.  No general anesthesia, shorter recovery times and many women resume light activities in just a few days with the majority of women able to return to normal activities within seven to ten days.

If you have uterine fibroids and have been told you need to have them removed, you may be a candidate for fibroid embolization. To learn more, contact us today. Call (954) 725-4141 or request an appointment online now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May is Stroke Awareness Month

 Did you know that every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke? Each year, almost 800,000 strokes occur in the United States, often leading to serious, life-changing complications.  National Stroke Awareness Month is an annual event held within the United States. The aim of National Stroke Awareness Month is to make Americans aware that they may be able to save a life of a person experiencing a stroke and to place emphasis on making the public aware about Acting FAST.  If a stroke patient seeks immediate medical attention, clot busting medications can be administered within 3 hours and up to 4.5 hours after becoming symptomatic that may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke. A significant number of stroke victims don’t get to the hospital in time for treatment this is why it’s so important to identify a stroke immediately

FAST is an acronym for things to check in a suspected stroke victim:

F - Face Does the face droop on one side when the person smiles?
A - Arm after raising both arms, does one of the arms drift downwards?
S - Speech after repeating a simple phrase, does the person’s speech sound slurred or strange?
T - Time  If any or all of the above are observed call for 9-1-1

What is a stroke?

A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack". Many people think of stroke as a condition that affects only older adults however, strokes can and do occur in people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. In fact, nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than age 65. A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients causing the brain to starve. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain is affected through paralysis, language, motor skills, or vision.
How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

Each year nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
A stroke happens every 40 seconds.
Every 4 minutes someone in the United States dies from a stroke.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

In honor of Stroke Awareness Month: Educate Yourself, Act Fast, Spread the Word and Help to Save a Life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Who Are Interventional Radiologists?

Many of you may not be familiar with Interventional Radiology (IR) or who an Interventional Radiologist is so we would like to take this time to explain more about this amazing specialty that offers alternatives to traditional open surgery.

Interventional Radiologists (IR) are board-certified physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments performed using medical imaging to guide them. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the least invasive treatments and are actually pioneers in minimally invasive procedures. IR’s use X-rays, MRI and other imaging technology to advance a catheter through an artery in the body to treat a disease internally. The main focus of Interventional Radiology is to diagnose and treat patients using the least invasive techniques available.

Our highly specialized interventional radiologists at South Florida Vascular Associates, Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson perform endovascular procedures through tiny incisions using thin catheters, wires, balloons and other medical devices in place of scalpels and large incisions used during traditional surgery. Most of the procedures are performed in our out-patient, office-based operating suite with no general anesthesia, no large incisions, shorter recovery time and the patient goes home the same day. Minimally invasive procedures minimize risk to the patient, improve outcomes, and eliminate long hospital stays.

Interventional Radiologists are capable of performing a variety of procedures that treat a wide range of diseases from hypertension or cancer to blood clots, uterine fibroids, varicoceles, peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease, gastrointestinal disease, and venous insufficiency.

Many conditions that once required open surgery can now be treated non-surgically by Interventional Radiologists.

To learn more visit our website at

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SFVA Offers Outpatient, Minimally Invasive, Chemoembolization for Malignant Tumors of the Liver

Cancer of the liver is on the rise in the U.S. and is becoming more common due to such factors as Hepatitis C and another condition called non-alcohol fatty liver disease.  Physicians at South Florida Vascular Associates now offer a minimally invasive treatment, chemoembolization, used for malignant tumors of the liver, performed by a specialty-trained, interventional oncologist in our outpatient surgical suite, under conscious sedation.

Chemoembolization delivers large, highly concentrated doses of cancer drugs directly to liver tumors while minimizing exposure to healthy tissues, without most of the negative side effects of traditional intravenous chemotherapy.

During this procedure our interventional oncologist uses image guided technology to place a small catheter from the blood vessel in your groin into the artery that supplies blood to the liver. Anti-cancer drugs are then delivered through the catheter directly into the tumor causing the tumor to slow or stop growing and in some cases, can even result in significant shrinkage of the tumor. This method of delivering large doses of chemotherapy directly to the liver tumor has shown positive results in patients who are not candidates for standard therapy.

The treatment is most beneficial to patients whose disease is predominantly limited to the liver, whether the tumor began in the liver or has spread to the liver from another organ.

If you have liver cancer, think that you might be a candidate for chemoembolization and would like additional information, please call our office today to set up a consultation. Call 954-725-4141.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Gary's Story: Varicoceles

30 Minute Minimally Invasive Procedure Enables Man Suffering from Painful Varicoceles to Return to Active, Pain-Free Lifestyle

Five years ago in 2009, at age 33, Gary S. began suffering from severe discomfort in his left testicle. “I wasn’t sure what the pain was from and I hate going to doctors, but I was in so much discomfort, I went to see a urologist in Tampa where I was living at that time”, said Gary. The urologist diagnosed Gary with a varicocele, a relatively common condition that affects approximately 10 percent of young men usually during the second or third decade of life.

Varicoceles are pain and swelling of the testicles caused by tangled blood vessels and weak defective valves in the scrotum resulting in blood pooling.  When the valves in the testis work properly, they only allow the blood to flow away from the testicle, but sometimes these one-way valves can fail and reverse the flow of blood. Sometimes, varicoceles cause no symptoms and are harmless. But sometimes a varicocele causes pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage), or low sperm count resulting in fertility problems.

The urologist told Gary that his varicocele was not bad and that he should simply wear supportive underwear, take advil, and ice his testicles as needed. While there are surgical and minimally invasive procedures that can correct varicoceles, Gary was told it was not necessary in his case.

As an avid runner, martial arts lover and tri-athalon participant, Gary was forced to give up all of his daily activities because the pain became unbearable. He was no longer able to live the active life he once enjoyed.  He worked as a contractor, frequently on his feet and worked outdoors in the Florida heat and humidity which was also very difficult because the heat and humidity caused extreme discomfort in the testicle. Some men describe varicoceles as feeling like a bag of worms in the scrotum.

In June of 2014 Gary knew it was time to be proactive with his medical care and seek a solution that would help to alleviate his pain. He did some research on the internet about varicoceles and found Dr. William Julien, Medical Director at South Florida Vascular Associates (SFVA). Dr. Julien is a well-known and respected interventional radiologist who performs a minimally invasive procedure called varicocele embolization. Varicocele embolization is performed at SFVA in their in-office, out-patient facility.  Gary was very interested in what he read and immediately made an appointment to see Dr. Julien.

Varicocele surgery is often performed by a urologist using traditional open surgery.  The surgery is done in a hospital under general anesthesia, with an incision made in the skin above the scrotum and cutting down to the testicular veins. The veins are then closed with sutures. Recovery from this type of surgery can take two to three weeks. Gary was not interested in the surgical approach.

Upon examination, Dr. Julien confirmed that Gary did have a varicocele and that he was a candidate for varicocele embolization. Dr. Julien explained that the procedure is done by inserting a small tube with a catheter into the femoral vein in the groin then painlessly guided it into the abdomen and the varicocele using the guidance of x-ray imaging. The varicocele is then closed off by plugging it with small metal coils and using a special medication that slows the blood flow, causing the blood to clot and seal the vein. The coils remain in place to keep the vein permanently sealed. The procedure takes 30 minutes and the patient goes home a few hours later with only a band aid at the puncture site. Patients can immediately resume their non-exertional activities.

2 weeks later Gary had a very successful varicocele embolization. “The surgery was easy and the staff at South Florida Vascular Associates is wonderful. I can finally enjoy my life again”, says Gary. He is no longer in pain, is able to take long walks on the beach with his girlfriend and has also begun an exercise routine. He is hoping to resume running again too. Gary highly recommends this procedure to anyone who suffers from testicular pain related to a varicocele. “I waited 5 years before I got the help I needed, says Gary, but fortunately I found the right doctor and I’m back on track enjoying my life, free of pain”.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Do You Have Fibroids and Plan to Have a Hysterectomy? Here’s What you Need to Know

Many women diagnosed with fibroids are often told by their doctors that the best treatment is a hysterectomy however, if you suffer from fibroids, a hysterectomy isn't the only option; in fact a hysterectomy should perhaps be your last option.

 A non-invasive treatment, uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) has proven to be a safe and effective option. UFE is a minimally invasive procedure in which the blood flow of the uterus is intentionally reduced causing the fibroid tumors to shrink. It alleviates or improves fibroid symptoms 90% of the time. UFE is performed by making a tiny nick in the skin in the groin and inserting a tube, known as a catheter, into the femoral artery. Using x-ray imaging, the catheter is guided through the arterial system and into the arteries supplying the uterus. Tiny particles, the size of grains of sand are then injected into the uterine arteries to block the blood flow which starves and destroys the fibroid.

At South Florida Vascular Associates our Board Certified endovascular surgeons, Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson have performed thousands of uterine fibroid embolizations in our outpatient facility, conveniently located in our office and it does not require an overnight stay. Pain-killing medications and drugs that control swelling typically are prescribed following the procedure to treat cramping and pain. Many women can resume light activities in a few days and the majority of women are able to return to normal activities within seven to ten days.

Benefits of UFE over hysterectomy
No general anesthesia
Abdominal incision is not required.
There is little to no blood loss, so there is no need for blood transfusions.
All fibroids may be treated at the same time.

About Fibroids
Fibroids are benign, non-cancerous growths in or on the walls of the uterus, or womb. They can range from less than an inch in diameter to more than six inches. African-American women and those with a family history are more likely to have fibroids than women of other racial groups. Fibroids affect close to 50 percent of African-American women over the age of 40 and are prone to having larger and more fibroids. Fibroids can also develop at a younger age.
Fibroids also affect more than 40 percent of women over the age of 40 and are often found in women immediately prior to menopause (ages 45-50) because they have more unopposed estrogen which causes them to experience rapid growth of their fibroids.

Many fibroids cause no symptoms and are only discovered when a woman has a routine pelvic examination. However, if you do experience fibroid symptoms, medical attention is necessary. Symptoms may include:
Heavy, prolonged monthly periods, sometimes with clots
Fatigue, secondary to a low blood count
Pain or pressure between the hip bones or in the back of the legs
Pain during sexual intercourse
Frequent need to urinate
Constipation or bloating
An enlarged belly

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, we invite you to call our office today for a consultation to determine whether UFE is an option for you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Are you Experiencing Leg Cramps or Cold Feet? Are you a Heavy Smoker?

If you answered yes, it’s time consider getting a vascular screening. It can save your life!

Vascular disease is among the leading causes of death in the United States, yet often, there are no symptoms until a major health event occurs such as a stroke or a deadly aneurysm. As the heart beats, it pumps blood through the circulatory system which carries blood throughout the body. Vascular disease involves any illness that affects the circulatory system, such as carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm or peripheral artery disease.

While preventive vascular screening is widely available, millions of Americans who might be at risk for stroke or even death from vascular disorders, remain unaware of their risk. Vascular screening is painless and very easy to obtain. It is done in a series of 3 ultrasound procedures that provide an image of the major arteries. It can save your life!

If you are 55 or older with history of smoking, are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or a family history of stroke you are at high risk for vascular disease.

The three most common vascular diseases are Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).  Carotid arteries provide the main blood supply to the brain.

 Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) occurs when the major arteries in your neck become narrowed or blocked. A sticky substance called “plaque” builds up in the arteries causing a blockage, which can potentially lead to a stroke.
Symptoms include: weakness or numbness in the face, arm and leg (often on one side), confusion or trouble speaking, decreased vision, difficulty with walking, balance and sudden severe headache.

When a weak area of the abdominal aorta grows, it is called an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).  AAA can develop in anyone, but it is most frequently seen in people over 50 with one or more risk factors. The larger the aneurysm, the more likely it is to rupture. Once detected, the AAA can be monitored or surgically repaired. An undetected ruptured AAA has a fatality rate of 75%. and is often referred to as the "silent killer". Many people have no symptoms until they become severe such as intense back or abdominal pain. Men are at greater risk for AAA than women.

Peripheral ArteryDisease (PAD) is a condition caused by a thickening of the inside walls of the arteries of your legs. This thickening called atherosclerosis, narrows the space through which blood can flow, decreasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the legs or feet. PAD can affect both legs, but most often symptoms begin in one leg. Not only does PAD pose a threat to the health of the legs, it can often be a sign of heart disease. Symptoms include a cold feeling in lower leg or foot, discoloration of foot, pain or cramping in hips, thighs & calves when walking or exercising, which is relieved with rest, or when activity is stopped.

At SFVA our highly trained, expert endovascular surgeons Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson, have successfully treated thousands of patients with vascular diseases. If you or a loved one suspect that you may have a vascular condition, we invite you to contact our office today for a consultation to learn more about your condition and about the treatments and procedures that are available to you.. We have three convenient office locations, Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach and Plantation.