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Varicose vein treatments gives patient ‘two new legs’

Tom Adland thought his varicose vein issues would permanently sideline him from everyday life. But then he met Dr. Rimas Gilvydis and his team.

 

Adland’s varicose veins started bothering him about 15 years ago. Since that time, the now-68-year-old underwent three vein-stripping procedures.

 

“It was just to no avail,” he recalled. “They came back and were worse, so I just kind of threw up my hands.”

 

Genetics play a part in his condition, as two of his brothers also sought treatment for varicose veins. And while exercise can help decrease the symptoms from varicose veins (Adland used to be a jogger, and he and his wife, Lynn, played tennis and racquetball and rode bicycles together), even those types of activities became too painful. It hurt just to sit, he said.

 

Things got so bad that walking a one-block distance with Lynn to a restaurant or shop was difficult. “She would get to the end of the block, and I’d only be halfway there. It hurt to extend my stride and try to keep pace. People got tired of waiting on me.”

 

Lynn heard about Dr. Rimas Gilvydis from patients who had reported great results with minimally invasive laser treatments that are now available. So Adland made an appointment.

 

“During my consultation, I started to describe to Dr. Gilvydis how my legs hurt and how they limited my lifestyle. He stopped me halfway through and said, ‘We’re going to solve that. We’re going to give you two new legs.’ And by golly, he did it.”

 

Dr. Gilvydis said pain and swelling are among the most common symptoms of varicose veins, and those symptoms are caused by venous stasis – old, stagnant blood pooling and collecting in the legs, which worsens as the day goes on. Venous stasis is caused by permanently damaged valves in the legs. Patients often attribute this and its symptoms to being part of the normal aging process, but, left untreated, symptoms worsen: swelling, pain, purplish discoloration, cellulitis, scar tissue, ulcers, bleeding varicose veins and blood clots.

 

Varicose veins can be easily closed with Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) in an outpatient setting. Once treated, the venous stasis resolved, Dr. Gilvydis said.

 

Adland said he never had any pain with the laser treatments, a major change from the leg-stripping procedures of old. “There was an occasional pinch, but Dr. Gilvydis was always good about warning me.”

 

Recovery was also painless, and Adland was pleased that the compression stockings he wore post-treatment had also improved in design through the years.

 

Adland grew especially fond of the clinic’s staff during his treatment appointments. “They go out of the way to make sure everything works for you. They’re great people.”

 

He connected to the staff so well, he used his experience working in aerospace to help ease an employee’s fear of flying. He appreciated that staff members were always flexible in making appointments that fit with his work schedule.

 

The clinic’s comprehensive vein care begins with patient education, Dr. Gilvydis noted. And because EVLA treatment is very standardized, the staff can create a comfortable environment in the treatment rooms: Patients can select the type of music they listen to; they have their own ultrasound monitor, which allows them to see the work being done; and because only local anesthesia is used, Dr. Gilvydis and his team are able to talk with patients throughout the entire procedure.

 

“We want every patient to understand what varicose veins are, how they are affecting their health and how we can help them,” Dr. Gilvydis said. “The more our patients are educated about varicose veins and their treatment, the less anxiety they are likely to experience.”

 

Today, Adland can proudly “keep pace with anyone.” In less than a year, he has shed more than 75 pounds, and his ability to exercise and focus on his health has improved with the leg vein treatment.

 

“I can’t say enough good things,” Adland said of his experience. “I’ve recommended the office to anybody who is willing to engage in a discussion about varicose veins. You can’t ask for a better specialist to work with.”

 

As for Adland’s “two new legs,” Dr. Gilvydis said patients often describe their legs feeling lighter and younger, not experiencing swelling or aching, and lamenting that they wish they would have sought treatment sooner.

 

“I am pleased with every single patient we treat, whether the varicose veins are mild, moderate or severe,” Dr. Gilvydis said. “Having specialized in EVLA over the past 14 years, there are no patients that we can’t treat. Tom presented with a history of prior surgical stripping and blood clots. This doesn’t affect our scope of treatment. In fact, the more complex and advanced the varicose vein disease, the more I would like to treat patients, as their results can be very dramatic.”

What is Phlebitis?

Our veins do quite a bit of work during the course of our lives. They have a big responsibility to transport blood back to the heart in order to keep us alive. But sometimes these blood vessels become inflamed which can cause problems with circulation and uncomfortable symptoms. We’re talking about phlebitis.

The Causes of Phlebitis

Phlebitis is a term used to describe inflammation in a vein. The term means vein (phleb) inflammation (itis). It is typically found in a limb, usually the leg, and it can be superficial (in veins just under the skin) or in deep tissue.

Superficial phlebitis is usually found in the veins just under the surface of the skin. It can require treatment but isn’t a life-threatening condition. Phlebitis can be caused by:

  • Trauma or injury to the vein
  • Varicose veins
  • Undiagnosed cancers or clotting disorders
  • IV (intravenous) catheters or IV drug use
  • Surgery
  • Being hospitalized or bed-ridden for a long period of time

Phlebitis can also be caused by a blood clot in the veins, called thrombophlebitis. If the blood clot is in the deep veins of the leg, the condition is called deep vein thrombosis or DVT. This condition can be life-threatening and lead to a pulmonary embolism.

Thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis can be caused by sitting in one position for long periods of time such as during a flight. This allows the blood to pool in the veins, making the blood coagulate and form a clot.

Symptoms of Phlebitis

Phlebitis can occur in the leg or arm and can be asymptomatic meaning you may not have any symptoms of the condition at all. But most people have some symptoms that usually occur near the affected vein. Symptoms can include:

  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • A warm sensation on the skin
  • Pain in the calf or thigh that worsens when walking or flexing the leg (if the cause is a DVT)

You may also feel something that feels like a cord or rope under the skin or see a streak (or streaks) of red on the skin. All of these symptoms will usually occur near the affected vein.

Phlebitis Treatment

Treatment options for phlebitis can vary depending on the severity of the condition and if there is a DVT. But the treatment of superficial phlebitis can include:

  • Oral anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, diclofenac)
  • Elevation of the affected limb
  • Warm compresses
  • Walking
  • Topical anti-inflammatory medications (Voltaren gel)

More extensive phlebitis or deep vein thrombosis may be treated with:

Do you think you may have phlebitis? Then you need the best vein doctor in the Chicago area. We have two convenient locations in Illinois, so contact us today to make an appointment.

New Year, New Goals

With the arrival of the New Year, you may have determined resolutions for self-improvement. Some of these commitments may involve sticking to a healthier diet, making exercise a regular routine or finding the time to better connect with family and friends. The most popular resolutions are generally related to improving physical health and appearance, with the hopes of a new and improved self. Odds are, you’ve made a similar plan yourself, with a new goal of getting the look and lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

However, you may have forgotten an important element of your self-confidence and positive self-image: your veins. For those with vein issues, such as varicose veins, the effect on their physical appearance can be debilitating. You may find yourself refusing to wear summer clothing like shorts as the weather warms or feeling uncomfortable donning a swimsuit for a day at the pool. In addition, some people with varicose veins experience symptoms such as itching, pain, or swelling, which can take away from the enjoyment of daily life.

Resolving vein issues is easier than ever

The good news is that with the new technology available today, the best treatment for varicose veins comes in many different forms, with plenty of options for patients to find their perfect fit. Compared to even five to ten years ago, the advancements in varicose vein surgery and other treatments is astounding. Resolving your vein issues is easier than ever, and there is no reason to wait any longer. Plus, if you tackle your vein issues early in the year, you will be ready to debut a confident new you come spring and summer! Imagine being able to slip into a comfortable pair of shorts without a second thought and absolutely zero worry about embarrassing varicose veins.

Make your dream become a reality

Several innovative vein treatments can make this dream a reality for you, and the options are minimally invasive and highly successful. Here are just a few of the exciting new varicose vein treatments available today:

• Vein Mapping: Ultrasound vein mapping is often the first step taken before any combination of endovenous laser ablation/treatment and sclerotherapy. In order to properly diagnose, locate, and gauge the severity of problematic veins, vein mapping is used to give the doctor a clear understanding of the best way to treat your specific case. During vein mapping, certified ultrasound technicians use high-frequency sound waves to measure blood flow and examine the veins, which then allows the doctor to pinpoint any areas where the blood flow is not at the proper levels. By using this technique, the doctor can develop a minimally invasive plan, avoiding healthy veins and only focusing on problematic areas.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA/EVLT): Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), also commonly referred to as endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), is a laser vein treatment that allows varicose veins to be treated with a simple laser catheter. EVLA is a minimally invasive method that comes with less risk than traditional vein surgery, and a very low rate of complications.

During the procedure, the doctor closes the varicose veins using the heat and light from the laser and then redirects the blood flow to healthy veins. The varicose veins will retreat from the surface of the skin once they have been sealed, and any other related symptoms should be resolved as well.

Patients are often surprised that EVLA is a fairly short procedure, with no scarring and little to no discomfort. In fact, with EVLA/EVLT, you can drive yourself home after the procedure and return to your daily routine the very same day.

Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is often used in conjunction with endovenous laser ablation. EVLA/EVLT uses laser vein therapy to correct the main problematic veins and sclerotherapy is then used to fix any tributary veins that are also nonfunctional. With sclerotherapy, the doctor takes a proactive approach towards these tributary veins, preventing them from turning into varicose veins in the future. It is an effective technique that requires very little recovery time, as the doctor simply injects a liquid sclerosing agent to close down the problematic veins.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, our experienced staff works together with Dr. Rimas Gilvydis to provide patients with only the best varicose vein treatments. Dr. Gilvydis has completed more than 20,000 vein treatments, changing the lives of patients with his expertise, refined techniques and cutting-edge treatments.

If you are interested in learning more about your options for varicose vein treatment, contact us to schedule your free screening today. We will be more than happy to help you find the perfect varicose vein treatment so that you can look and feel good all year long.