South Florida Vascular Associates South Florida Vascular Associates

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.