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Eliminating Varicose Veins

NBC 15 News - September 26, 2003
Posted By: Sally Jo Hoover

(MOBILE, Ala.) September 26 - Bulging, unsightly veins can be embarrassing for the 25 million Americans who suffer with them.

If they are bad enough to require surgery, it could involve weeks of recovery. NBC15's Sally Jo Hoover reports on a new procedure that can get you back on your feet in no time.

"I did work on my feet for many hours a day and the last five years it was quite painful, the inside of my calf got larger and larger," said Margaret Reid.

She suffered for years with painful varicose veins. A defective valve can result in blood pooling in the leg, building pressure. Margaret avoided traditional surgery. Dr. Glenn Esses said surgery can involve weeks of recovery.

"The traditional procedure is called stripping, and stripping is where a catheter is put in the vein and the vein is actually ripped out," said Esses, instead he offered her the new VNUS Closure Procedure.

"This I think is ah quite an advance in varicose vein surgery. One, we're able to treat it all though a tiny little needle stick," he said.

The vein is closed using a special catheter inserted through a small puncture in the leg. The catheter emits radiofrequency energy that heats the vein wall causing it to close.

"We're removing a portion of the body that hasn't been doing its job. The circulation if anything is much better," said Esses. The VNUS procedure is performed at the Mobile Infirmary, but you are not there for long. It is an outpatient procedure and you're back to normal activity in about two to three days.

"It was a very, very quick recovery and it's just an absolute miracle. I had no idea my leg could feel this good,” said Reid.

The VNUS procedure has a 90 percent success rate but is not for spider veins or isolated varicose veins.

For more information call The Mobile Infirmary Health System, Three Mobile Infirmary Circle, Mobile, AL 36608. Visit and look under “In the News.”

Dr. Glenn E. Esses, M.D., F.A.C.S. Vascular Specialists of Mobile, P.C., 171 Louiselle Street, Mobile, AL 36607. (251) 432-0558. Also located at 6701 Airport Blvd., Ste. B-318, Mobile, AL 36608. 251 639-1942