As each New Year dawns, many of us spend the weeks or months preceding the turning of the calendar contemplating potential New Year resolutions. I have RESOLVED to renew and further my commitment to the education of the general public and physician community regarding the wide variety of presentations of correctable superficial venous insufficiency.
It is estimated that 35-40 million adults Americans suffer from significant superficial venous insufficiency who present with symptoms such as painful varicose veins, swollen legs, skin discoloration, restless leg syndrome, nocturnal leg cramps and frequent nighttime urination. Until the year 2000, the only treatments for venous insufficiency were compression hose or stripping. Endovenous closure, which was introduced in 2000, has significantly changed the landscape for patients with vein problems. Since introduced, endovenous closure (the minimally invasive and effective procedure of sealing the leaky veins within the legs with a small catheter) has been used successfully to treat hundreds of thousands of patients with venous insufficiency, relieving their disabling symptoms prior to developing venous ulcers or bleeding.
Since the superficial venous system (rather that the deep system) is responsible for the majority of patients’ problems with advanced signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency, it seems only appropriate to offer patients thorough venous evaluation and definitive therapy earlier in the course of the disease process rather than making them suffer complications such as bleeding, ulceration and cellulitis. I would like to highlight an interesting patient who made a resolution to make their leg problems a priority.
C.D. was a 58 year old female who presented through a podiatrist (the 8th physician she had seen for her legs) for evaluation of venous insufficiency. She had been told by a number of physicians that she had “fat and swollen legs” but that since she did not have any visible bulging varicose veins, Venous Insufficiency was not a consideration. Clinically, her legs were swollen, red, tender and extremely tight to the point that she could not perform activities of daily living. She RESOLVED to search further for a curable cause and her podiatrist referred her for a venous evaluation. Her ultrasound subsequently confirmed severe superficial venous insufficiency. Other symptoms included severe leg cramps and nighttime urination. Endovenous closure was performed on both legs, 2 weeks apart and she returned for her post-op follow-up, smiling from ear to ear, with ankle bones she could actually see. The swelling had resolved and she remarked that she was wearing tennis shoes for the first time in nine months.
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So… in 2015, will you RESOLVE to address the important issue of the health of your legs? RESOLVE to live without swollen, achy, tight, red legs! Make the RESOLUTION to live a life free from painful leg cramps, nocturnal urination and restless legs! We have extended the opportunity for patients and the general public to RESOLVE their leg complaints. Vein Specialists offers a personal virtual vein consultation on our websites weknowveins.com and eveinscreening.com. Take the first step from the privacy and convenience of your home.
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