Checkup 13: Treatment for varicose veins

Checkup 13: Treatment for varicose veins

Checkup 13: Treatment for varicose veins

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Varicose veins can impact what we wear, and how we move.

Caroline Stevenson says the pain from a bulging vein in her left leg kept her off her feet. It also kept her from doing what she loves most: playing with her three children.

"It obviously is very hands-on, taking care of three kids this little," she said.

Caroline knows it's her job to always be on her feet and at the ready just in case Jack, Chloe or Max want or need her.

"It's a full contact sport," she said.

But this spring, a bulging vein in her left leg put Caroline on the sidelines.

"It was debilitating. It was bad. Not to overkill it, but it was pretty painful," she said.

She went to see Dr. William Finkelmeier at VeinSolutions, who found a valve in her veins was leaking. Red on ultrasound indicated blood flowing the wrong direction.

"Instead of pumping the blood up like this it goes like this and falls in a circle and over time, this vein gets bigger and bigger and bigger and all the branches get bigger and that is what causes varicose veins," he explained.

The fix Finkelmeier recommended was radio frequency ablation or V-Nus Closure, an outpatient procedure.

"We took a tiny needle and we stuck the vein where the valves were broken and passed a wire all the way to her groin, where we pulled the wire back, heated and sealed the vein," he said. "It does the same thing that the old stripping operation used to do but this is far easier and patients tolerate it very well."

"I was back at work the next day and did the Mini-Marathon three weeks later," said Caroline.

Now her leg is looking better, but most importantly, Caroline is feeling better - and she's in the backyard with her kids every day.

"I think they were glad to have me back on my feet as well because I can't push them on the swings when I'm lying down in bed!" she said.

If you have bulging, painful and unsightly veins, and you would like to be checked by a medical professional, you may do that free of charge at several locations courtesy St. Vincent health and Checkup 13.

Call 1-866-U-CHECK-13, or 1-866-824-3251 today (June 13, 2014) or register here.