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Venous Interventions in Los Angeles

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Centinela Radiology performs venous interventions in Los Angeles, CA. Our highly trained physicians focus on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of venous diseases to help at-risk patients improve their health.



Venous stenosis refers to a narrowed vein, the narrowing restricts blood flow. Veins are a type of blood vessel that carries oxygen-poor blood back to the heart to receive oxygen. The arms or legs can be affected by poorly functioning axillary, cephalic, brachial, or brachiocephalic veins. Pain, swelling, color change and superficial varicose veins are common symptoms.


Vein occlusion is the partial or complete blockage of a vein. The vein can be narrowed, pinched, or blocked off entirely by blood clots. If blood clots are the cause, immediate pain, swelling, or skin discoloration may occur. Untreated, the condition may lead to chronic post thrombotic syndrome and pulmonary embolism.


Blood clots that form in the lower extremities result in a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Risk factors for developing DVT include immobility, family history, congestive heart failure, estrogen, cancer, trauma, long-distance travel, obesity, major surgery, and pregnancy. Deep leg veins form clots that can travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.


A Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is a blockage in the pulmonary arteries which supply blood to the lungs. Typically, the blockage is due to a blood clot that travels from deep leg veins into the lungs. The lungs and heart may become severely damaged as a result. More than 50% of patients with deep vein thrombosis eventually develop pulmonary embolism if the condition is left untreated.



Angiography is a diagnostic imaging tool to examine blood vessels, such as veins and arteries. A venous angiogram detects vein problems with X-ray imaging and contrast dye. Venous angiography is also known as venography or a venogram.

Procedure: Under conscious sedation, a catheter (thin hollow tube) is placed into an arm or groin vein. A special dye is injected into the catheter to highlight the veins on the image. This information is used to plan a vein treatment. Angiography is a relatively painless imaging procedure that takes less than two hours.


If an angiogram shows a clogged vein, then a balloon angioplasty may be performed to open the vein.

Procedure: Under conscious sedation, a catheter (thin hollow tube) is placed in through an arm or groin vein, and the catheter is advanced until it reaches the affected vein. Imaging assists the physician as the catheter is guided through the body. A tiny balloon is then inserted into the catheter and placed inside the vein to widen it. Blood flow is immediately improved. In some cases, stents are added to support the vein walls. The catheter is withdrawn and a bandage is placed on the skin. The angioplasty procedure takes less than two hours.


Thrombolysis is a treatment for clearing blocked veins by delivery of clot-busting medications into a blood clot.

Procedure: Under conscious sedation, a catheter (thin hollow tube) is placed in through an arm or groin vein, and the catheter is manipulated until it reaches the affected vein. Imaging assists the physician as the catheter is guided through the body. X-ray imaging helps to guide the catheter during the procedure. The thrombolytic medication ( clot busting) is then dripped onto the blood clots to soften and dissolve the blood clot. The catheter is withdrawn and the skin is bandaged. The thrombolysis procedure time is less than two hours.


A thrombectomy is a surgical procedure that removes blood clots from the legs. This treatment can be performed for acute or chronic blood clots.

Procedure: Under conscious sedation, a catheter is placed into a vein behind the knee using image guidance. A device is inserted through the blood clot and expanded to physically remove the blood clot. Sometimes this is used in combination with a balloon, a stent and clot-busting medications. The incision is closed and bandaged. The procedure takes two to three hours.


A venous stent is a small mesh tube that supports the walls of a vein. A stent is placed to keep a clogged vein open so blood can flow freely, and prevent long-term complications of obstructed blood flow. Stents are usually reserved for large and severely clogged veins. Some stents are coated with a medication to help keep the vein open.

Procedure: Under conscious sedation, a catheter (thin hollow tube) is placed in through an arm or groin vein, and the catheter is manipulated until it reaches the affected vein. X-ray imaging helps to guide the catheter throughout the procedure. The stent is placed inside the vein, dye is injected to ensure the blood flow has improved. A bandage is placed on the entry site at the skin.


This minimally invasive procedure is performed to prevent pulmonary embolism. An inferior vena cava (IVC filter) is a small, basket device that is placed inside the inferior vena cava to collect blood clots. The filter does not treat DVT or prevent blood clots from forming. Instead, it filters clots that have formed in the leg veins as they break off and move towards the lungs. This lowers the risk of pulmonary embolism since the clots cannot reach the lungs. Centinela Radiology specializes in retrievable filter placement and removal once it is no longer needed.

Procedure: This procedure is performed with local anesthesia only or conscious sedation. A tiny incision is placed on the groin or neck to access the vein. A catheter (thin hollow tube) is inserted into the vein. The catheter is advanced until it reaches the IVC. X-ray imaging helps to guide the catheter. The filter is placed in the IVC, then the catheter is removed. A bandage is placed on the skin.


Retrievable filters are intended to be removed when they are no longer required. Your doctor may perform an ultrasound of your leg veins to see if your blood clot has gone, before requesting removal of your IVC filter.

Procedure: Under conscious sedation, a catheter (thin hollow tube) is inserted into the neck or groin vein. The catheter is advanced to the desired location in the IVC, where it is attached to a hook on the IVC filter. The filter is then deployed and expanded in the IVC. The catheter and filter are then withdrawn from the body. A bandage is placed on the skin.

Centinela Radiology venous interventions are:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Image Guided
  • Safe
  • Performed as outpatient or inpatient
  • Confidential

Schedule your Los Angeles vein intervention by calling Centinela Radiology Medical Group at 310-673-4660.


What does IVC stand for?

IVC stands for inferior vena cava. This is the major vein that transports deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart.

What are IVC filters used for?

IVC filters are used to prevent a pulmonary embolism (PE). The IVC filter catches blood clots before they can reach the lungs.

How does an IVCF work?

An IVC filter traps the blood clots which arise from the legs, before they can travel and end up in the lungs. It is used to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE). Centinela Radiology places retrievable filters which can be later removed once the threat of PE passes.

How long can an IVC filter stay in place?

Temporary IVC filters should be removed within 29 to 54 days, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For most patients, this is sufficient to overcome the acute threat of a pulmonary embolism. In situations when the threat has not passed, a temporary filter allows time to find a more long-term solution.

When is an IVC filter removed?

A retrievable IVC filter is removed when the risk of acute PE is no longer a concern. Retrievable filters are generally removed no later than 54 days after placement.

What happens if an IVC filter can’t be removed?

Retrievable filters are a temporary intervention. However, filter removal is not always possible as scar tissue can grow into the filter and hold it in place. When this happens, the usual catheter method of removal is ineffective. Other complex techniques may be used to attempt filter removal. If filter removal fails, the patient may need to have long-term anticoagulant therapy.

Is it safe to have an MRI with an IVC filter in place?

It depends on the type of IVC filter. Most of the retrievable filters at Centinela Radiology are labeled “MRI safe”. This means the filter is non-ferromagnetic. Some filters are MRI conditional. The radiologist can provide more information on the particular filter that is selected.

What are the signs of an IVC filter that is failing?

An IVC filter can become clogged due to a large clot or several clots becoming trapped in the filter. Pain, swelling, and color changes of the lower extremities may occur. If an IVC filter has been placed and these symptoms occur, immediate medical assistance is advised.

Are IVC filters safe?

Serious IVC complications are rare. Current medical research suggests that 1% of patients have serious IVCF complications.

How effective are IVC filters?

Retrievable IVC filters are up to 99% effective at preventing pulmonary embolism.

Who is a good candidate for IVCF?

A physician evaluates the patient to determine if IVCF is the right choice of intervention. Contraindications include lack of vein access, caval occlusion, sepsis, and certain clotting disorders.

How is deep vein thrombosis diagnosed?

A primary doctor may conduct a physical exam to look for areas of swelling, tenderness, or skin discoloration. A D Dimer test, ultrasound, CT, or MRI are diagnostic imaging tests that can detect thrombosis.

How common is DVT?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that up to 900,000 people develop DVT/PE each year. Approximately 1 in 1,000 Americans are affected.

Which leg is more common for DVT?

Current research finds that 60% of DVT occurs in the left lower leg.

Is DVT dangerous if left untreated?

Yes. DVT must be addressed swiftly as untreated DVT can cause a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal. Up to 30% of patients that develop PE die within one month of diagnosis. Estimates suggest that up to 100,000 patients die from a PE caused by untreated blood clots each year. Post thrombotic syndrome can occur in patients with untreated DVT, leading to chronic long term pain, redness, swelling, ulcers and disability.

How is DVT treated?

The standard treatment is anticoagulation medication. Interventional radiologists manage DVT with the placement of an IVC filter. The blood clots can also be physically removed by thrombectomy.

Schedule an appointment today to experience why Centinela Radiology is the choice for diagnostic imaging solutions for patients around the country who need the right answers, right away.

Centinela Radiology’s expert team of doctors and staff have the talent and the tools to help make sense of your health. From diagnostic imaging to interventional radiology, our minimally-invasive procedures get to the core of your concerns, so we can get you back to being the image of health.