Peripheral Vascular Disease Treatment – One Patient’s Story of Recovery (Part 2)

In last month’s blog post, we met Mrs. Ann Vandersypen, a patient who came to MIIGS after she began experiencing lower extremity pain and a loss of mobility. After a consultation with Dr. Rice, it was determined that Mrs. Vandersypen indeed was suffering from PVD with several arterial blockages in her legs. Read on below to follow Mrs. Vandersypen’s journey to a better quality of life.

The Surgical Procedure

Pre-Op Nerves. Like any patient, Mrs. Vandersypen was nervous on the day of her surgery, but one of the comments she made on her post-procedure questionnaire was how friendly and helpful the MIIGS staff members were. Everyone, including the doctor performing the procedure, was focused on keeping her informed and at ease.

Angiography. Most interventional radiology techniques to correct PVD blockages use some form of angiography. Angiography is basically an X-ray often used with a contrast dye that allows a surgeon to see blood flow, narrowed blood vessels and obstructions in fine detail. Usually, a vein surgeon guides a catheter fitted with miniaturized devices to the blockage and opens it by:

  • Inflating a tiny balloon.
  • Removing plaque.
  • Inserting a stent, a tiny coil that ensures the blood vessel remains open.

MIIGS also uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) to diagnose and treat disease.

Immediate Results. What amazes most patients is how quickly the PVD treatment restores circulation. Our interventional radiologists can perform the procedure in the comfort of our offices, and once the blood vessel is open, blood can flow through it. When asked if she noticed improvement, Mrs. Vandersypen confirmed it, writing, “Yes, the blood flow started right away.” With arteries open again, healing can begin right away, too.


Mrs. Vandersypen experienced no complications and very few side effects from her procedure. She had some slight soreness at the site of catheter entry, which is to be expected. However, she was back to her normal activities 2 days later and able to “walk without pain.”

Prior to surgery, Mrs. Vandersypen’s quality of life had declined. PVD caused her to have difficulty participating in her favorite weekly activity, Bingo Night. During bingo calling, Mrs. Vandersypen would typically make rounds, visiting different tables and socializing with participants. These weekly interactions with old friends and new faces were what made bingo calling special for Mrs. Vandersypen. Unfortunately, the pain caused by her PVD made standing and walking around the hall difficult. She soon found herself confined to a chair for the duration of each event, watching as her friends mingled from afar.

After surgery, however, Mrs. Vandersypen quickly regained her mobility as the pain in her legs subsided. It wasn’t long before she found herself strolling about the bingo hall with her friends once again. 

Specializing in Difficult Cases

MIIGS treats hundreds of PVD patients with critical conditions every year. Family physicians and other practitioners refer 90% of our patients to us, and half of our patients are facing amputation issues due to wounds that refuse to heal. Mrs. Vandersypen needed four procedures to fully restore circulation to her legs. Just as MIIGS helped her, our specialists are able to treat the vast majority of life-threatening circulatory problems and help patients battling even the most critical conditions achieve a complete recovery. 

Bona Fides

MIIGS takes pride in its success stories; those small miracles happen only when talented people with skill and dedication work toward a common goal of healing. MIIGS is the only center in the region and one of only a handful in Louisiana with certified interventional radiologists specializing in minimally invasive techniques to treat PVD. Four Alexandria physicians partnered to form MIIGS. All are American Board of Radiology-certified, and all have completed fellowship training in interventional radiology:

  • Christian Scheuermann, M.D., DABR, CAQ.
  • William D. Long, M.D., DABR, CAQ.
  • Stuart Conrad Head, M.D.
  • Stephen D. Rice, M.D.

In addition, our full staff of certified nurses and trained administrators allows us to treat a wide variety of illnesses. 

Patients Are Our Only Priority

Every patient tells a story, and we want those stories to be ones of success and health restored. Peripheral arterial disease needs immediate treatment, and everything that MIIGS does hinges on that most basic tenet: 

  • Physician referrals are not needed for PVD consultations or treatments by MIIGS physicians.
  • Front-door parking is easy and convenient.
  • Scheduling is immediate, with same- or next-day appointments.
  • In-house technology provides quick turnaround times on test results for our specialists and your referring physician.
  • We accept most medical insurance and complete all necessary paperwork for you.

Mrs. Vandersypen described her experience at MIIGS as “excellent” and “absolutely wonderful.” For the MIIGS staff, nothing is more rewarding than to restore a patient’s pain-free mobility. To schedule a consultation at our center in Alexandria, contact us at 318.528.7560 or submit an online contact form. In the meantime, tour our website and get to know the doctors and specialists who make MIIGS a leader in peripheral vascular disease treatment.