Tuesday, August 21, 2018

In the swim: one patient's perspective

For some active folks in New England, summer means swimming. For Nathan, age 44, swimming isn't just a hobby, it's his passion. 

A swimmer since his youth, Nathan began to develop varicose veins in both legs in his twenties. The blue, raised veins in his left leg were especially severe. He asked several doctors and physical therapists about it over the years, showing them how the bulging veins were considerably warmer than the rest of his leg. They all told him that there was nothing he could do about it, sometimes suggesting aspirin or compression sleeves to manage the discomfort.

It wasn’t until Nathan visited Dr. Asbjornsen, a Board certified phlebologist, that he realized that his symptoms—the cramping, fatigue, and varicose veins—were related to circulation and venous disease. After a physical exam, diagnostic ultrasound evaluation, and a full review of his medical history, Nathan learned that he was predisposed to varicose veins and that if he didn’t treat them, his condition would continue to get worse.

He decided to have the endovenouslaser ablation (EVLA) procedure done on his left leg, and then about eight months later, he had the procedure on his right leg. Recovery from both treatments was relatively quick, and the results were obvious. The cramping and pain went away, and his shoe size went down half a size because there was no more swelling.

Nathan’s quality of life improved, and so has his swimming: “I have new legs as far as I’m concerned. I have more endurance, and I can push myself much harder. I have more cardio, which is surprising to me. I can go further, faster, because the blood is returning and able to take oxygen to the places I need it. I was not aware of how much better I could feel—or that I could be a faster swimmer.”

Nathan had no idea what he was in for when he got his varicose veins treated. While he did expect to feel some relief from the leg pain and cramping he had experienced for years, he did not expect to become a better athlete.

Are you looking for relief from leg pain, varicose veins, or other venous issues? Contact the Vein Healthcare Center to make an appointment for a thorough exam. 

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