Services & Specialties2021-05-05T14:32:15-04:00

Services and Specialties

ARA Health Specialists has a team of physicians made up of board-certified specialists who work collaboratively within the practice, as well as with referring physicians and partner hospitals throughout Western North Carolina and the surrounding regions. The value of collaborative work cannot be overstated – patients do not have be concerned whether or not they are getting the appropriate care by the most experienced physicians; our physicians would without a doubt have their family members diagnosed, treated, and followed by our team if needed.

What our team members have in common is a passion for using state-of-the-art imaging, minimally invasive interventional techniques, and specialized vascular surgical techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of illnesses, conditions and disorders – from cancer and strokes to spinal fractures, aneurysms and varicose veins. It’s why ARA Health Specialists is the region’s preeminent multi-specialty physician practice, and the number one choice of patients, referring physicians, and regional health systems.

Body Imaging2021-01-22T11:59:44-05:00

Body imagers are radiologists who use cross-sectional imaging techniques to diagnose and follow disease processes of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. With the use of CT, ultrasound and MRI, they identify neoplastic, inflammatory and traumatic lesions throughout the body.

Breast Imaging2021-02-23T14:25:50-05:00

The Breast Imaging section of ARA is composed of a team of Radiologists who take care of patients’ breast health using the most advanced imaging and intervention techniques available. Our services span from screening exams to diagnostic imaging, percutaneous image-guided biopsies, and appropriate staging for our cancer patients. Our mission focuses on early detection of breast cancer, with the goal of saving lives from a disease that remains common and a common cause of mortality. Our physicians are experts in the field, many of whom have completed a dedicated breast imaging fellowship, along with having years of experience in clinical practice.

We interpret a wide range of screening modalities, including screening mammography, screening 3D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis), automated screening breast ultrasound, and screening breast MRI. We are one of the few sites in the country offering contrast-enhanced mammography as both a screening and diagnostic tool. As part of our breast screening programs, we also include density and breast cancer risk assessments which allow us to create personalized screening strategies for our patients.

In addition to early breast cancer detection, we strive to provide prompt and accurate diagnosis for those patients requiring minimally invasive percutaneous needle biopsies using the latest technology in image-guided breast procedures. We offer ultrasound guided biopsies, 3D mammography guided biopsies, stereotactic biopsies, and MRI guided biopsies. For those patients requiring surgical intervention, we also proudly offer innovative pre-operative localization procedures such as the Savi Scout wire free localization system. This method of localization decreases the patient’s stress on the day of surgery while improving accuracy for our surgical colleagues.

Following a cancer diagnosis, we provide accurate staging information to our surgical and oncology physician colleagues, aiding in treatment decisions for each patient. As one of the largest clinicians of breast imaging/intervention in Western North Carolina, we routinely participate in multidisciplinary team discussions in effort to provide our patients the highest level of personalized breast cancer care possible.

Care Coordination ARA Cares2021-01-22T12:00:00-05:00

We’re dedicated to delivering a level of care and caring focused on guiding you through your healthcare journey on your path to wellness. Our dedication to you does not end with a test result. We remain an active part of your care through our ARA Cares Program. ARA Cares is a patient-centered team of skilled professionals and healthcare navigators dedicated to ensuring timely care and coordinated communication among your team of clinicians as we help navigate you through your entire healthcare journey from diagnosis to treatment.

Diagnostic Imaging2021-01-12T10:43:03-05:00

Diagnostic radiology is the process of creating images of the body, its organs and other internal structures with external radiation. Diagnostic radiology procedures are generally non-invasive, meaning the body is not entered with any equipment or cut open for imaging. Certain procedures can combine diagnostic radiology techniques along with minimally invasive procedures to diagnose a treatment.

  • Angiogram
  • Barium X-ray
  • CT
  • Fluoroscopy
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • Nuclear Medicine
ED/Trauma Imaging2021-01-27T15:32:08-05:00

Trauma/Emergency Imaging, an essential component of the hospital and emergency department, is a subspecialty of diagnostic imaging specializing in the diagnosis of emergent traumatic and non-traumatic diseases. We use state of the art equipment including CT, x-rays, ultrasounds, MRI, and nuclear medicine to help quickly diagnose diseases and identify which patients need emergency surgery. For example, it has been estimated that performing a CT scan for suspected appendicitis can prevent up to 50,000 unnecessary operations per year and also leads to an alternative diagnosis in over 50% A few of the common conditions we see and help diagnose include traumatic injuries, stroke, appendicitis, bowel obstruction, kidney stones, pulmonary emboli, and aneurysms.

We actively participate in technical committees to ensure optimal image quality, while maintaining safety and minimizing any potential radiation exposure. We foster close relationships with our clinician colleagues by participating in several regular multidisciplinary conferences across the hospital system, working with fellow health care clinicians across several specialties including Neurology, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology (“ENT”), Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Neuropathology.

ARA Health Specialists has the largest group of on-site dedicated Trauma Emergency Imaging physicians outside of an academic institution in the region. Our specialists are board certified  in emergency imaging to provide you with the best care possible. We have one of the most experienced teams in Trauma/Emergency Imaging in the country. We are available in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to help diagnose and triage patients. We perform and interpret over 100,000 emergent imaging exams per year. We have the number one lowest turn around time for trauma/emergency imaging interpretation in our health system of over 180 hospitals and 2000 sites. We are honored and privileged to serve and the only Level I-type trauma center in western North Carolina.

Vascular Interventional2021-02-23T14:28:22-05:00

Vascular Interventional

We save lives every day. At ARA Health Specialists, our sole purpose is to help people reach their highest obtainable quality of life. To do this well, we actively pursue cutting-edge technologies and techniques to treat disease with less risk, less pain, and shorter recovery times.

A pioneer in surgical innovation, Vascular and Interventional is the surgery of the 21st century, utilizing high-end technology, state-of-the-art equipment, and advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques that were not available until recently.

When conditions cannot be treated with traditional medical or surgical treatments, we are here to solve your problem.  Our expert interventionalists treat a host of conditions ranging from cancer to life-threatening bleeding from trauma. Our broad range of available services address common men’s and women’s health issues including cancer, enlargement of the prostate, uterine fibroids, peripheral arterial disease and venous disease.

Our 8 vascular and interventional specialists are highly skilled, board-certified physicians with more than 8 decades of experience in minimally invasive, image-guided treatments that make the impossible a reality.  During these procedures, our physicians, along with their expert team of nurses and technologists use advanced imaging techniques to direct miniaturized surgical equipment safely to diagnose or treat disease. The precision and accuracy of this targeting often allows the treatment to be done with less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue than with traditional surgical methods.

We are dedicated to providing unparalleled, comprehensive, and personalized care for your specific condition. Saving and improving lives daily, we are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide a less invasive solution to your medical problems.  Our outpatient Interventional and Vein clinics work seamlessly with all medical service lines and specialties, and through our ARA Care coordination platform, we are able to shorten the time from diagnosis to cure.

Musculoskeletal Imaging2021-10-13T17:55:54-04:00

Musculoskeletal Imaging and Inteventionalists physicians interpret advanced imaging of all joints of the body. In Asheville, we have developed close working relationships with the region’s top experts in operative and non-operative orthopedics, orthopedic oncology, arthritis, and bone health. We work behind the scenes in collaboration with your preferred bone specialist to arrive at your diagnosis as quickly and comfortably as possible. (consultation?— we are the physicians physician consultant—bridge between medicine and surgery)

ARA Health Specialists Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention team has decades of experience diagnosing common and rare diseases of bones, joints, and soft tissue and treating painful conditions of the joints and spine. Together we offer the active patients of Western North Carolina unparalleled patient care backed by years of unique clinical experience working with complex sports injury and orthopedic cancers in top tier academic centers and advanced training in pain intervention. Our commitment to the highest ethical standards, image interpretation, and cutting-edge innovation have earned the members of our team leadership roles in local, state, national, and international imaging organizations. We are truly a unique blend of the best Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention has to offer, right in your own backyard.

At ARA Health Specialists, it is our privilege to take care of the patients of Western North Carolina. We know that every image represents a person looking for an answer. Days, nights, and weekends, the Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention Team is available when you and your doctor need us. We offer the region’s highest quality images interpreted by the most skilled, conscientious physicians, making the right diagnosis and delivering effective, comfortable treatment of bone and joint pain. We aren’t just any imaging and interventional physician specialist- we are your physician specialist.

Bryon Dickerson, M.D. Joined ARA in 2002 ARA President 2009 – 2019 Fellow, American College of Radiology (former President NC Chapter)

Kate Hartley, M.D. Joined ARA 2018 Assistant Professor of Radiology, Vanderbilt University International Society of Skeletal Radiology Editorial Board, Skeletal Radiology

David Hodges, M.D. Joined ARA 2009 ARA Vice President 2016-2019 ARA Treasurer 2020 

We use radiographs as the initial evaluation for bone and joint trauma, complemented by CT and MRI for complex fractures and soft tissue injuries including ligament and tendon tears. Working with your orthopedic clinician, we will follow your injury to make sure bones are healing and well aligned.

We use radiographs, CT, and MRI to diagnose and assess common and uncommon types of arthritis including but not limited to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, CPPD, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis and degenerative spondylosis to name a few.

When enjoying an active lifestyle in our beautiful mountains leads to injury, we are here to quickly make the diagnosis and get you back in the game. When radiographs aren’t enough, our 1.5 and 3T MRI options can help. We offer both early morning, late evening, and weekend options.

In addition to arthritis or fracture, pain around a joint can also be related to tendon abnormality. In collaboration with your preferred specialist, we commonly use MRI to differentiate tendonitis/ tendinosis from partial and full-thickness tendon tears to develop the best treatment plan for you.

Most lumps, bumps, and bone lesions aren’t cancer but unfortunately, some are. Our musculoskeletal radiology physicians are well versed in the diagnosis and surveillance of bone and soft tissue tumors. We partner closely with our colleagues in orthopedic and medical oncology, pathology, and radiation therapy to make the right diagnosis as quickly as possible. Using MRI and radiographs, we’re there every step of the way assisting with surgical planning, assessing treatment response, and monitoring you after therapy for any disease recurrence. It’s our job to find small abnormalities while they are still treatable.

Sometimes injuries of the wrist, hip, and shoulder are best evaluated by distending the injured joint prior to MRI. We do this most often when your orthopedic clinician is concerned you may have a ligament or labral tear. We may also inject a painful joint or region around a painful tendon using image guidance, delivering pain reducing medication directly to the spot that’s hurting. Our MSK radiologists perform these types of injections daily. In our high-volume intervention practice, our goal is always minimal patient discomfort and exceptional patient experience.

Sometimes chronic disease of other organs impacts your bone health. In addition to screening for osteoporosis, we also use imaging to diagnose bone problems that may arise in the setting of chronic lung, thyroid, liver, or kidney disease.

For those suffering from neck, back, or pelvic pain, we can help! Facet and sacroiliac joint pain are commonly related to arthritis. Minimally invasive, image-guided injections of these joints can provide temporary pain relief, after which our team of MSK

Interventionalists can perform similar minimally invasive ablation procedures to provide more longstanding pain relief.

Neuro Imaging2021-02-23T14:29:30-05:00

Diagnostic Neuro Imaging 

Diagnostic Neuro Imaging focuses on the diagnosis and characterization of diseases of the brain, spine, head, and neck. We are pleased to offer the most advanced imaging technologies, while working with teams of highly trained radiology technologists and nurses.

At ARA Health Specialists, our Neuro Imaging physicians all are board-certified, spending an additional 1-2 years immersed in a dedicated postgraduate Neuroradiology fellowship, after having completed a 5-year Diagnostic Imaging residency. Many of our physicians have trained at world renowned institutions under leading peer-reviewed experts in the specialty.  Our Neuroimaging specialists possess Certificates of Advanced Qualification (CAQs) in Neuroradiology as awarded by the American Board of Radiology, and are active members of the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR).

We actively participate in technical committees to ensure optimal image quality, while maintaining safety and minimizing any potential radiation exposure. We foster close relationships with our clinician colleagues by participating in several regular multidisciplinary conferences across the hospital system, working with fellow health care clinicians across several specialties including Neurology, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology (“ENT”), Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Neuropathology.

Our physicians are champions for developing methods to allow our patients achieve their highest quality of life.  We have developed an in-house notification system for rapid system-wide communication for acute strokes, which is now considered to be the gold-standard by many other respected stroke centers. In the community, we are the first private practice in the southeast to offer advanced neuro imaging for patients and their families struggling with dementia.

We are committed to offering in-office, telephone, and virtual sub-specialized comprehensive consultations and imaging interpretations, that consistently surpass the expectations of our referring clinicians and patients. Our reading locations include the main regional neurosurgical and orthopedic spine office, Neurointerventional clinic, and the major hub of the Mission Hospital system to allow maximum onsite, timely consultations to best affect our patient’s outcomes.

Neuro Interventional2021-02-23T14:11:56-05:00

Neurointerventional Surgery/Spine-Clinic

ARA Health Specialists are fortunate to have a physician team of four fellowship-trained board certified Neurointerventional surgeons, with more combined experience than any other program in the southeast. They have more experience treating spinal vertebral compression fractures than anywhere in the country, and are ranked the number one program in the HCA system of over 180 hospitals and 2000 care sites.

Neurointerventional Surgeons treat conditions that occur within the head, neck, and spine. In place of more invasive procedures which require opening the skull or exposing the spinal column, neurointerventional surgical procedures are minimally invasive, meaning they can be accomplished through tiny incisions no bigger than the size of a nickel. These are advanced treatments that yield positive surgical outcomes while providing such benefits as less pain, shorter recovery time and fewer complications.

The Neurointerventionalists at ARA Health Specialists were instrumental in forming the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in western North Carolina, and are at the forefront of their field. Our goal is to provide the highest quality care for each individual patient. No physicians-in- training will be involved in your care. We often have 2 physicians working together on complex cases, with 4 hands and 2 sets of eyes minimizing complications.

From 24/7/365 acute stroke treatment, to stroke prevention, to endovascular therapy for brain aneurysms and vascular malformations, to percutaneous treatment of vertebral compression fractures, the Neurointerventional team has been compassionately caring for the people of western North Carolina and surrounding regions for over 20 years.

Nuclear Medicine2021-02-23T14:30:27-05:00

Molecular imaging/Nuclear Medicine is a type of medical imaging that looks at biological processes. In contrast to other forms of diagnostic imaging that typically look at how the body is physically structured, molecular imaging focuses on seeing how the body functions. Very small amounts of radioactive materials called tracers are used to diagnose and sometimes to treat disease.  Special cameras with crystals vibrate in response to these tracers to create pictures of how they distribute and move in the body in real time.

Molecular enables the visualization of the cellular function and the follow-up of the molecular process in living organisms without perturbing them. The multiple and numerous potentialities of this field are applicable to the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer, and neurological and cardiovascular diseases. This technique also contributes to improving the treatment of these disorders by optimizing the pre-clinical and clinical tests of new medication. They are also expected to have a major economic impact due to earlier and more precise diagnosis.

ARA health specialists has had a dedicated group of molecular imaging/nuclear medicine subspecialists who are involved in a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for over 3 decades. In recent years, we have participated in several national trials and brought to Western North Carolina new imaging advances. We were the first non-academic center in North Carolina to offer Beta Amyloid testing for Alzheimers, and interpret more PET scans for cancer diagnosis and screening than anyone in the region.

Pediatric Imaging2021-02-23T14:31:07-05:00

Pediatric imaging specialists are physicians who are experts in the diagnosis of illness, injury, and disease in infants, children, and adolescents using specialized and advanced imaging techniques. The information gathered from these imaging studies can be vital to your child’s medical care. In addition to interpreting pediatric imaging studies, pediatric imaging specialists are experts with advanced training in tailoring imaging to fit the child. This means using the lowest dose of radiation possible and in many cases no radiation at all when imaging your child.

ARA Health specialists are pleased to have the regions largest cohort of Pediatric Imaging specialists outside of an academic center with over four decades of combined experience. Our Pediatric imaging specialists work closely with your pediatrician, primary care clinician, or specialist to decide on the most appropriate imaging test for your child. (props to other practices) We are the experts with advanced training in radiation safety. We are among the leading practices offering the most low-dose and radiation-free imaging options for pediatric patients in the country.

In addition to taking every measure to image your child safely, we also know that special considerations must be taken to make the experience as low stress as possible for you and your child. We work with child life specialists as well as pediatric sedation specialists and are involved in the Pediatric Service line of our health system to provide the highest quality multi-disciplinary care.

Our pediatric imaging specialists and the team that they work with use their expertise to help you and your child’s doctor make the best decisions about care for your child while focusing on a safe and family-friendly experience.

Vascular Surgery2021-01-12T10:45:13-05:00

Our vascular surgeons are experts in diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease. They employ the most up-to-date open and endovascular techniques.

Vein Specialists2021-03-19T18:16:27-04:00

Vein Treatment

Varicose veins can be painful and they can signal more serious medical conditions.

Treating varicose vein symptoms sooner rather than later isn’t just a matter of appearance. It can help avoid future health problems and circulatory complications. For people with diabetes, whose circulation to their legs, feet and toes is already compromised, diagnosing and treating varicose veins is critically important.

Our team is composed of board-certified, fellowship-trained vascular/interventional radiologists who have helped thousands of western North Carolina patients achieve better leg health and beauty.

The Vein Specialists of Carolina Vascular has been granted accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in Vein Center in the area of Superficial Venous Treatment and Management. The Vein Specialists of Carolina Vascular work to provide their patients the highest level of quality care. The IAC accreditation is a seal of approval indicating patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and dedication to continuous improvement.

Intersocietal Accreditation Commission - Accredited Facility Vein Center logo


  • Spider veins
  • Bulging varicose veins
  • Lower-leg skin discoloration or changes in skin texture
  • Sores or ulcers below the knees that aren’t healing
  • History of superficial thrombophlebitis
    • Veins that are sore, red and/or warm to the touch
    • Swollen veins


  • Sclerotherapy
    Using a tiny needle, a healthcare professional injects a chemical solution into a varicose or cluster of spider veins, causing the vein to collapse. Over time, treated veins are gradually absorbed back into the body’s vascular system.
  • EndoVenous Thermal Ablation (EVTA)
    EVTA uses either laser or radio frequency energy to treat larger varicose veins. The physician first administers a local anesthetic. Using ultrasound guidance, the ablative device is placed in the abnormal vein. Energy is then applied to the vein, which shrinks the vein and diverts blood into healthy leg veins. Clinical studies have shown that it has an impressive 98 percent success rate and excellent long-term results.
  • Microphlebectomy
    This procedure involves removing the varicose veins. The skin is first anesthetized, after which the physician makes a small incision to remove the vein. The treatment causes minimal discomfort and patients may walk immediately afterward.


310 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704
828-670-VEIN (8346)

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