Pacific VascuCare Patient FAQ

  1. Why was I referred to Pacific VascuCare instead of a hospital?
  2. What happens when I arrive at Pacific VascuCare?
  3. Why can’t I go into procedure with my clothes on if I am only here for x-rays of my veins?
  4. What happens in the procedure room?
  5. Who will be the doctor performing the procedure?
  6. Why do I need to have an empty stomach after midnight on the night before my appointment or six hours prior to the procedure?
  7. Should I bring a lunch?
  8. Will I need transportation after the procedure?
  9. Will the procedure hurt?
  10. How long is the procedure?
  11. What can I expect right after the procedure at Pacific VascuCare?
  12. What should I do and not do for the first 24 hours after the procedure?
  13. Why do I have to return so frequently for procedure for dialysis shunt compared to other patients?
  14. Can a patient make an appointment with Pacific VascuCare?

1. Why was I referred to Pacific VascuCare instead of a hospital?
Your physician has confidence in our experience and expertise in performing the procedure you need. In addition, we are more efficient than most hospitals so we are able to provide same-day appointments, and shorter wait times. In most cases, you will not spend more than 2.5 hours in our facility for a typical procedure.

2. What happens when I arrive at Pacific VascuCare?
When you arrive, the receptionist will have you fill out a brief patient questionnaire. Please bring your insurance card, photo I.D. and a current medication list or all your bottled medications to review with your nurse. The nurse will ask you questions about your medical history, medications, allergies, and prior surgeries. She will review the procedure with you. You will then meet the physician who will explain the procedure and answer all of your questions.

3. Why can’t I go into procedure with my clothes on if I am only here for x-rays of my veins?
Patients are required to remove all clothing except underwear and socks prior to procedure. We provide a clean gown, hair bonnet, booties, mask and warm blanket. All procedures are done under sterile technique to minimize infection. During the procedure all clinical staff members are also required to wear a hair bonnet, booties and a mask for your protection.

4. What happens in the procedure room?
When ready for the procedure, you will walk into the room or be transported via gurney bed to the procedure table. You will be greeted by the staff consisting of a nurse, x-ray tech and scrub tech. You will be placed on the table face up and be connected to oxygen through a nasal cannula (oxygen tubing) and have a sterile paper mask placed over your nose and mouth. (The entire staff will be wearing sterile masks as well for your protection.) You will then be connected to blood pressure and heart monitoring equipment with small chest leads to ensure that your heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and blood oxygen content remain stable. A nurse will be with you the entire time to assist and ensure that you are comfortable. Please feel free to ask the nurse for any assistance at any time.

5. Who will be the doctor performing the procedure?
Our senior staff interventional radiologist, Dr. Edward Neymark, will perform the procedure.

6. Why do I need to have an empty stomach after midnight on the night before my appointment or six hours prior to the procedure?
A patient who has not fasted as advised may have negative reactions to the sedation medication, such as nausea and vomiting. A very small number of patients may experience mild nausea from the contrast dye used during the x-ray. This does not persist for very long and if this happens to you, you will be monitored by nursing staff. If you have questions about taking medications during this fast period, please speak with a nurse BEFORE your procedure.

7. Should I bring a lunch?
Pacific VascuCare does offer light refreshments, such as crackers & juice, during your recovery time after the procedure. If you have a very particular diet and/or required to eat after the procedure due to medical condition(s), you are more than welcome to bring your own packed lunch., In the case of a lower extremity arteriogram, we definitely do recommend to bring a lunch for your recovery time ranges 4-6 hours, after the procedure.

8. Will I need transportation after the procedure?
Most procedures at Pacific VascuCare require sedation, so patients are required to have assisted transportation when leaving the facility and cannot go home alone. The sedation leaves patient too drowsy to operate a vehicle or heavy machinery. Van transportation companies who give door to door service are acceptable. If the appointment is made with the dialysis center, please refer to their front desk to confirm arrangements for transportation.

9. Will the procedure hurt?
The local anesthetic can sting or burn for few seconds. The physician administers the anesthetic through a very tiny needle to the shunt site before he starts the procedure. Once given, the area will turn numb. Prior to any balloon inflation (angioplasty) the physician will give you intravenous (IV) sedation and pain medication.

10. How long is the procedure?
On average, a patient’s total visit runs about 2.5 hours. This includes waiting room wait time, recovery, & waiting for transportation. Catheter removals take about 30 minutes. An ultrasound visit takes about one hour.

11. What can I expect right after the procedure at Pacific VascuCare?
You will be transported to a recovery area via gurney bed where you need to remain a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes after the last dose of sedating medication. The nurse will continue to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level. If you are awake and are not nauseated, we will offer you some crackers and juice. Your family or a friend can accompany you during this recovery process. When fully awake and recovered, you can change into your clothes and discharge instructions will be reviewed with you by the nurse. You will receive discharge instructions which you must sign indicating that you understand the instructions given. You will then be released to your designated driver who will sign a form indicating that he/she are taking responsibility for driving you home.

12. What should I do and not do for the first 24 hours after the procedure?
YOU SHOULD NOT: Drive a car, operate machinery or power tools, sign important papers or make important decisions, consume any alcoholic beverages; including beer or wine.
YOU SHOULD: Rest at home

13. Why do I have to return so frequently for procedure for dialysis shunt compared to other patients?
When your dialysis shunt was created by the surgeon, healing occurred at the junction where the veins and arteries were connected. In some people, scar tissue develops which causes narrowing. In other people, this scarring does not occur.

14. Can a patient make an appointment with Pacific VascuCare?
Appointments for dialysis patients can only be made by the referring physician or dialysis facility. For questions regarding scheduling all other procedures, contact Pacific VascuCare to schedule an appointment.