Desperately Seeking Closure

By Jo Popma


I have never tried to hide the fact that I have varicose veins, I simply accepted the fact. However, for the last ten years my legs have ached more often and I have noticed more spider veins appearing. Two years ago, at my grandson's ballgame, I felt something burning in my leg and, looking down, I noticed a bulging knot the size of an egg. This was pretty frightening and the beginning of my problems with "venous reflux." When I met with Dr. Randy Morton to discuss advertising, I began to ask questions and discuss the fears that women have about vein surgery. He said, "I do this every day and because of the experiences I've had with VNUS Closure®, a minimally invasive and clinically effective procedure, I sometimes forget the fears. It's just so quick and easy."


I told him I would like to go through the process of a varicose vein screening, which he offers for free, and let people know how easy it was. He started immediately with the process of using a vein light which lets you see and track the veins under the skin. What shocked me was the large, ugly vein under my skin that was invisible to the naked eye. He looked up and said, "Spider veins aren't your problem, this is. Veinous reflux. Your blood flow is backed up because the valves aren't working like they should." This is why I had swelling, pain, and discoloration. The screening was painless, short, and efficient. Dr. Morton continued to explain how my veins worked in great detail along with pictures to illustrate the problem. I remember listening, but all I could think of was this terrible vein under my skin, and it wasn't just one, but two.


Our next step was to set up an appointment for a sonogram to track the veins and see what procedure would be necessary. I looked at the film clip of the VNUS Closure® and hoped that I would be a candidate for it. A week later, I arrived and met Terry Hallonquist, RDMS RUT who performed my sonogram. It's very interesting to watch because you can see the tracking of the veins as she explains how they work. The next step was an appointment with Dr. Morton where he would review the sonogram and let me know the procedure that would work best. I was in luck. The vein on the inside of my leg would require the VNUS Closure®. The vein on the outside of my leg would have to be cut out. There was no hesitation on my part when I said, "do it."


The morning of the surgery arrived and I may have felt a little nervous, but I was very excited and well prepared. Dr. Morton had gone over every detail and I had complete confidence. He started the surgery by tracking my veins and marking them with a surgical pen. Then my leg was numbed along the vein area and he started the VNUS Closure® procedure. A small needle and catheter is insertd into the vein and, using radiofrequency, closes it as it is withdrawn. I was curious about the use of radiofrequency versus lasers which some doctors use. He explained that although they both use energy close to the vein, lasers reach 800-900 degrees which can cause vein perforation and are more likely to cause pain and bruising after the procedure, which is rarely seen using radiofrequency.


It took 45 minutes from start to finish and I felt no pain at all. The next step was cutting the other vein out, called a plebectomy. This may sound horryfying, but let me assure you, it is not. Tiny incisions were made and the vein was removed. I remember laying back and listening to the Eagles' song, Hotel California. He certainly picked the right song, and as he finished, he started singing along. I suppose that was the best moment. It was over and my doctor was pleased with the success, and he's so happy, he is singing. Does surgery get any easier or better than this? I went home and rested for two hours, and then I was up walking around. That evening we took the grandkids out to eat. I have been amazed at how effortless it was to get back to my routine. The only real soreness was where the vein that had been removed with the phlebectomy. My bandages came off after two days and for two weeks, I have worn compression hosiery. I bought the thigh high style at Women's Health Boutique. You wear them during the day and take them off at night.


It has been two weeks and the spider veins are already disappearing. I decided to write about this experience because so many people have come up and asked me about it. I recommend it to each and all, men and women. It's one of the besdt things I've done for myself. There was really no down time for me. The VNUS Closure® is possible the most amazing technology in vein surgery. It's as easy as giving a sample of blood. I want to thank Dr. Morton and his efficient staff for making this treatment so easy and for the excellent care they gave me. And special thanks to Dr. Morton himself for being so personable and taking such care to explain all of the procedures to me. I will never listen to the Eagles again without thinking of him and then I'm going to look down at my leg and smile.


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