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Published on October 13, 2015

Vein disease growing problem for men, too

By Amy Northrop, Lawrence Memorial Hospital

The majority of Chris Schwedt’s day is spent standing on his feet working for a residential and commercial garage door company. So when the 56-year-old Topeka resident started to experience swelling and achiness in his left leg, he assumed the nightly symptoms were a painful result.

Dale Denning, MD, Lawrence Vein Center“Chris had no idea that his symptoms were actually due to vascular vein disease,” said Dr. Dale Denning, medical director of the Lawrence Vein Center. Denning has provided vein care in Lawrence since 2005 and is a diplomat of the American Board of Phlebology.

After a thorough evaluation and health history, Schwedt and Denning agreed to treat his veins using endothermal ablation. In this procedure, heat is directed through a catheter to close up the targeted vessel, leaving the veins in place so there is minimal bleeding and bruising. According to Denning, compared to other forms of treatment, many patients find that endothermal ablation results in less pain and a faster return to normal activities.

“Dr. Denning really took the time to explain the procedure,” Schwedt said. “He didn’t rush through it. He made sure that I understood everything.”

Now a year post-procedure, Schwedt is pain free and is pleased to say he no longer feels discomfort in his legs.

Vein problems can hurt and interfere with your daily activities for the rest of your life if you don’t do something about it. According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, by the age of 50, nearly 40 percent of women and 20 percent of men have significant leg vein problems.

Vascular vein problems can be hereditary or caused by obesity, too much inactivity, frequently standing or sitting for long periods of time, or hormonal changes. Fractures and other leg trauma can also affect blood flow and increase the risk of vein disease.

Varicose veins, which affect roughly 40 percent of the U.S. population, are problematic in appearance but don’t typically lead to more serious complications. Other vein disorders can be more serious and harder to catch, such as a deep vein thrombosis, which often shows no symptoms at all. That’s why it’s important to know your risk factors, so you can help your doctor spot vein problems early.

The Lawrence Vein Center is offering free individual screenings to help individuals with unsightly, swollen or painful legs learn about their risks and treatment options. To register for available appointments on Oct. 13, Nov. 3 or Dec. 1, call 785-856-8346. The free screening is not available to Medicare and other federal healthcare beneficiaries.

For more information about vein problems or the treatment options available at the Lawrence Vein Center, visit lmh.org/veincenter.

— Amy Northrop is Physician Liaison Manager at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, which is a major sponsor of WellCommons. She can be reached at amy.northrop@lmh.org.

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