My name is Mary Anne and I live in the Chicagoland area, where, in most cases we are known for having a high level of health care professionals at our fingertips. I am 60, physically fit, very active and do not fit the stereotype for someone with Vein problems. My story is that I had a persistent, extremely itchy rash limited to my lower legs. I saw 5 different dermatologists, who gave me 5 different diagnoses, none of which I believed I had.
I had been scouring the Internet the entire time and I concluded that my problem was either a rare fungal infection or a vein condition called stasis dermatitis. I did suffer from varicose veins in my vaginal area during all five of my pregnancies, and had a whopper on my thigh, which I had previously had sclerotherapy on to remove. However, I did not have anything more than spider veins currently so I had a hard time convincing myself or anyone else that it might be a deeper Vein problem. I decided it would be easier to rule out the vascular issue, so I made an appointment with the same doctor who did the sclerotherapy. He was highly recommended. I found out that I did indeed have a perforator vein that was refluxing at the exact area where I had the extremely itchy and weepy rash. The doctor sealed off the leaking Vein with a laser and the itching got better, but both my legs were still more itchy than normal, and would sometimes really flare up. I felt I was using way too much steroid cream, and it was doing a number on my skin.
I went back a number of times to my Vein doctor who had admitted he had only seen a hand full of cases of stasis dermatitis, but he seemed to think he had done everything possible for me. I searched the Internet to find out who the next best doctor was, and found a well renowned doctor who listed stasis dermatitis as one of his specialties. I had to travel an hour away, but was hopeful that I would get an answer. This doctor knew my original doctor, and he took a quick glance and decided he couldn’t help me. I asked him if I might have Vein problems in my pelvis, because of the large vaginal varicosities I had during pregnancy. He said no and I left, utterly dejected.
Around 6 months later, I went to the Internet again. It was now over 2 years of my persistently itchy legs. I decided to find a support group. I found someone posting on a medscape post that seemed to know about this condition. The person referenced a website Weknowveins.com, so I did a google search and up came Vein Specialists in Ft Myers, Florida. They listed all the problems they treated, and then there was a blurb about the 10-15% of women who failed to get better from traditional vein procedures. They mentioned pelvic issues that could possibly be the cause of these women’s problems. Honestly, I had spent thousands of dollars by this time. Every dermatologist visit, antibiotics, oral steroids, steroid creams, ablation, sclerotherapy. Why wouldn’t I fly to Florida if it meant an end to my problem?
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I came to the offices of Dr. Joseph Magnant in March of 2018 for a thorough Vein evaluation and after a 3 hour ultrasound of both legs and my pelvis, it was found that I most likely had iliac vein compression and that both of my great saphenous veins had severe reflux. No wonder I was still itchy! It was one of the best decisions I have ever made! A few days later I had a new procedure called IVUS (intravascular ultrasound) which demonstrated a critical blockage in my left iliac Vein related to arterial compression, and I had a stent placed to relive the blockage.
A little more than a month later and my itching is about 70 percent better. I will return at the end of this month, and will have one of my Great saphenous veins sealed. In June, I will do the other. It is so good to feel normal again. Another unexpected benefit is that my energy level during long Tennis points is markedly better. I had no idea that that would be the case. I hope that my story will help all the other women out there who have frustrating symptoms and stories just like me.
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