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At Greater Pittsburgh Vascular's Cath Lab, Advanced Care of Peripheral Vascular Disease Is a Specialty
By Nancy Kennedy


Gennady Geskin, M.D.A state-of-the-art outpatient diagnostic and interventional catheterization lab is advancing the care of persons with heart and vascular (blood vessel) disease at Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates. Well known throughout the region for clinically excellent and highly personalized care, Greater Pittsburgh Vascular, a division of Jefferson Cardiology, is the first private cardiology practice in southwestern Pennsylvania to open an outpatient, office-based catheterization lab. The service was launched about 18 months ago and today it is everything that the group hoped it would be: busy, productive, successful and growing. The cath lab, located in Jefferson Hills, enables the group's board-certified cardiologists to perform specialized procedures that open blockages in the peripheral blood vessels; this takes place in a setting that combines high-tech medical imaging and treatment capabilities with a safe, comfortable setting. "This is our specialty at Greater Pittsburgh Vascular," says Gennady Geskin, M.D. "We treat patients with peripheral arterial disease, chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. We perform every venous and arterial procedure, including angiograms, rotoblator atherectomy, laser atherectomy and stent placement."

An angiogram is an x-ray of the arteries using dye; it provides a road map, revealing the location of blockages formed by plaque in the vessels. When a blockage or narrowing is found, it can be removed through a procedure called atherectomy, which uses specialized equipment to remove the accumulated plaque. In some cases, a device known as a rotoblator is inserted in the artery through a small catheter; the rotoblator spins very rapidly, breaking up the plaque so that it can be eliminated. This opens up the artery, allowing blood to flow freely again.

Most procedures can be completed in two hours, and complications are rare and minor. "Occasionally, there may be some post-procedure bleeding," Dr. Geskin says, "but nothing that requires surgical intervention. Patients walk out of the office and they typically can resume normal activities the following day. Our patients appreciate the cath lab; it's convenient for them. Our office has a calm, homey environment that reduces stress, and the service is personalized. There's plenty of free parking and it's easy to get in and out. Patients are very satisfied with their experience here."

Dr. Geskin, who is certified in vascular and endovascular medicine, says that the cath lab also treats patients with iliac venous compression syndrome, also known as May-Thurner syndrome, a condition that is the result of compression on the iliac vein by an artery. The artery, which is not only heavier than the vein but also pulsatile, may compress the vein against the underlying bone. It produces venous hypertension; over time, it causes swelling in the leg from pooling of the blood and can lead to blood clots, skin ulcers and deep vein thrombosis. It may also result in the formation of emboli – blood clots that escape and travel to the lungs, heart or brain, requiring emergency intervention.

Greater Pittsburgh Vascular also treats varicose veins with Endovenous Laser Treatment, or EVLT, an advanced technology that eliminates varicose veins with a beam of high energy light and no incisions.

Jason Withers, a chef who typically is on his feet for 12 hours each day, developed swelling in his left leg that eventually led to redness, cellulitis and an ulceration. His PCP referred him to Dr. Geskin, who cauterized the greater saphenous vein in the cath lab. His leg has returned to normal size and he now has no pain or skin problems. "Dr. Geskin was amazing," Withers says. "The entire process was efficient and smooth. I recommend Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates to anyone with circulation issues in their legs. It's a great facility."

With his partners and associates at Jefferson Cardiology - Alan Bramowitz, M.D., Michael Nathanson, M.D., Shirshir Mathur, M.D., Inna Lamm, M.D. and Nicole Bruno, CRNP – Dr. Geskin offers state-of-the-art cardiovascular care, including prevention, diagnostics and treatment. He is a native of Latvia and completed his fellowship in cardiology at Allegheny General Hospital. He and his partners practice at Jefferson Hospital.  With three office locations throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, Jefferson Cardiology has treated thousands of people through a comprehensive range of services that provide preventive care, state-of-the-art diagnostics and interventional treatment of heart and peripheral blood vessel disease.

To learn more about the services provided in the Cath Lab, visit the web site, www.GreaterPittsburghVascular.com. To contact Jefferson Cardiology Association and Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates, call 412-469-1500.



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