Leg vein treatment helps Batavia man rebuild strength after stroke

As a project manager working on a multimillion-dollar deal, Shawn Samii knew his health was taking a backseat.

Still, no one was as surprised as Shawn when he suffered a stroke at the age of 45.

The married father of two went from a busy travel schedule packed with high-stress meetings to being unable to talk, walk or even swallow. It was a humbling time as he learned basic life skills once again, but Shawn came out of it more determined than ever to regain his independence.

Just months after the stroke, Shawn began working with a personal trainer. He was lifting weights, building his strength and seeing results.

After a while, however, his right leg would ache at night after his workouts. He got a tattoo on his calf and it took twice as long as it should have to heal. Eventually, the pain in his leg was significant enough that he couldn’t lift weights like he used to – and that wasn’t OK with Shawn. He needed the exercise if he wanted full mobility to return.

With his leg clearly swollen, he visited a doctor who didn’t have many answers. Worse, he didn’t have a treatment. Shawn knew the doctor’s suggestion of wearing compression socks for months wouldn’t heal him quickly enough to achieve his stroke recovery goals. He needed more.

That’s when he visited Dr. Rimas Gilvydis at Gilvydis Vein Clinic and had a vastly different experience.

“Not only did they do the ultrasound that day, they explained exactly what happened and came up with a treatment plan,” he said.

What happened was that the valves in Shawn’s veins were leaking blood, and that caused his pain. The solution was a two-part procedure – one on the lower leg and one on the upper leg. Dr. Gilvydis noted that Shawn’s stroke history had no effect on the development of varicose vein disease. The condition is inherited and only affects veins in the legs.

The stroke also didn’t affect his ability to receive treatment. Shawn had endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) performed on the varicose veins in his right leg. Multiple catheters were inserted into the varicose veins, through which a laser fiber was inserted into each catheter separately, Dr. Gilvydis explained. Once the varicose vein to be treated was numbed in its entirety, energy transmitted through the laser was slowly retracted (along with the catheter), and the vein was permanently sealed (ablated).

The first procedure happened within a month of Shawn’s initial visit to the clinic, and he appreciated the aggressive timeline that would get him back to a healthy life.

“I found the right team to help me,” Shawn said. “Anything I needed, they provided. They were fantastic.”