FAQs

Are you accepting new patients?  If so, how do I schedule an appointment?

Yes we are! To schedule your appointment today, please call our office at 423.602.2750 and one of our patient service specialists will be glad to assist you.

What Insurances do you accept?

Vascular Institute accepts most insurance policies, and a complete list can be accessed on our website:  www.vascularinstituteofchattanooga.com.  If you have a question about a specific insurance acceptance, please call one of our patient service specialists for assistance, 423.602.2750.

What should I bring to my appointment?

Please bring to your appointment a copy of your insurance card, picture id, and copies of any relevant medical records.  Our new patient paperwork can be accessed on our website, must be completed before you are seen by a provider.  Your check in time can be quicker if these forms are completed prior to arrival.

Why is an ultrasound used before treatment?

At VIC ultrasound tests are ordered by your vascular provider.  The tests use sound waves to look into the body and evaluate the normal function of arteries and veins, or determine potential abnormal issues.  These tests will help determine your plan of care, and allow insurance approval for procedures indicated.

Why is it important for the ultrasound lab to be accredited?

Ultrasound testing has become very sophisticated and is managed directly by physicians and vascular technologists.  Having effective study protocols, based on a national standard, is very important.  The VIC Ultrasound lab participates in this voluntary process and is accredited yearly by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

What kind of vascular conditions does VIC treat?

We specialize in treating all vascular conditions, such as abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease, critical limb ischemia, deep vein thrombosis, carotid artery disease, amputation prevention and more. Please see our website for a complete list of disorders that we address.
www.vascularinstituteofchattanooga.com

What kind of treatments and procedures are performed at the VIC?

All our physicians are able to perform surgery at the four major hospitals in the community.  We also offer access to our two outpatient surgical facilities, where most of our surgeries can be completed.  In addition, we have a full diagnostic ultrasound lab that does the diagnostic testing required for a comprehensive diagnosis.  Finally, we have a wound care program that addresses the needs of our patients with lower extremity wounds.

What does board certified mean and why is it important?

The American Board of Surgery establishes a set of standards to qualify to be certified as a vascular surgeon.  A physician must pass extensive training and testing to obtain this status level.  All of our surgeons at the Vascular Institute are board certified in vascular surgery.

What is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins?

Varicose veins tend to be larger and have a more rope-like appearance; they have the potential to cause significant pain and discomfort.  Spider veins however, are only visible at the surface of the skin and are not raised.

What causes varicose veins and why do I have them?

Your genetics can determine if you will develop varicose veins or spider veins or possibly both.  A varicose vein occurs when there is a malfunction in the valve that helps to carry the blood from the feet back to the heart.  When the vein fails to push the blood upwards, it causes a collection of blood to pool in the vein, resulting in a varicose vein that is rope-like and raised.

What is the treatment for eliminating varicose veins?

There are two common procedures for eliminating varicose veins.  Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) a non-invasive procedure taking less than an hour with local anesthesia and little recovery and down time.  A newer procedure that is highly effective is VenaSeal, where a medical grade adhesive is used to close the malfunctioning vein.

Is endovenous laser therapy covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies will provide coverage for these procedures, once certain measures are met.  Our office staff is knowledgeable with the guidelines for approval of either of these solutions.

What is an angiogram?

This procedure uses x-rays and injectable contrast material to evaluate the insides of arteries or veins.  It is the standard of care for evaluating blockages in the arterial system that may need to be repaired.  Angiograms are generally performed under sedation, and can last 15-20 minutes up to several hours, depending on severity of disease.

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency? (CVI)

CVI occurs when the valves in your veins, usually in the legs, fail to work, allowing blood to pool in the extremity and adding pressure to the vein walls.  This disorder can be hereditary or a result of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a blood clot.

What is a carotid endarterectomy (CEA)?

The carotid arteries in the neck carry oxygenated blood to the brain.  When a carotid artery is more than 50% blocked, a vascular surgeon may recommend the artery be cleaned out to prevent plaque rupture where the plaque and blood clot can move to the brain and cause a stroke.  Carotid surgery is all about stroke prevention.

What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)?

When an artery in the body becomes damaged from chronic smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol, the arteries can weaken and start to dilate. In general, if the artery becomes 2X the normal size an aneurysm is diagnosed. This should be watched by a vascular surgeon who will determine when it is proper to repair the aneurysm to prevent clotting or rupture which can be life altering.

What is endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (EVAR)?

In this treatment method the aneurysm of the abdominal aorta can be repaired through a small incision at the groin level. This modern procedure places a stent-graft device along the inside of the artery to the aneurysm to block the aneurysm but let blood flow through the device to the lower legs. This minimally invasive procedure can help prevent rupture of the aneurysm, but will need to be followed by the vascular surgeon for a lifetime.

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