Correspondent: Varicose veins can cause pain, aching, and swelling, and you might just choose to live with it. But you don’t have to. There are things you can do to relieve the discomfort. Dr. Gamal Wazni from United Vein Centers is back with a patient who is feeling much better after visiting the center. Dr. Wazni, welcome back to Daytime, and hello to Mark Mueller, good to have you here.
Correspondent: So who’s a typical patient that comes to see you?
Dr. Wazni: A typical patient is a patient that presents with varicose veins and the associated pain, swelling, heaviness, leg cramps at night or restless legs, and sometimes even burning.
Correspondent: What kind of symptoms were you having and how early did this start in your life?
Mark: Probably 30. I wanna say about 10 years ago, but it’s progressed into more.
Correspondent: Uh huh. And what were you feeling? What was it like for you?
Mark: Swelling. It was a lot of cramping, basically standing on it was throbbing, like this particular leg.
Correspondent: Mm-hmm. And you work on your feet most of the time, don’t you?
Mark: Right, I’m standing a lot and it was painful.
Correspondent: Yeah. So Dr. Wazni, tell us what you did for Mark here.
Dr. Wazni: For Mark what we did is we identified all the bad veins that lie just under the skin with ultrasound, and once we identified them we then lasered them. We basically use a sophisticated medical laser and zap these veins closed.
Correspondent: And we have a picture of that. So we’d like to see the before and after. There you go. That’s you, Mark, before. Can you believe those were your legs before?
Mark: Yeah, no I can’t.
Correspondent: And it’s not been that long, has it, Doctor?
Dr. Wazni: It’s been about a month.
Correspondent: Look at that. It’s like totally different legs. So, Mark, what’s it been like since you had it done? And what was it like immediately after you had it done because I think a lot of people are afraid.
Mark: Yeah, it’s actually not too, too much pain afterwards. It was more, you know, keeping it wrapped and elevated. I was able to get on my feet, you know, that day, and walk around and stuff like that. So it was pretty comfortable. I mean, I’m glad I just was able to do this now. Cause, like, my father, he ended up going his whole life and waiting until he was retired …
Mark: … to take care of this, so.
Correspondent: And he was in sales as well.
Correspondent: So he had a lot of pain.
Mark: Yeah, right.
Correspondent: Has he had it done now?
Mark: Yeah, he’s done with it but yeah.
Correspondent: Good, good, good. Now, let’s talk about the fact that a lot of people don’t think they can afford this.
Dr. Wazni: Many people think it’s not covered by insurance, but because varicose vein disease can lead to things that Mark had mentioned; the pain he had, the aching, the swelling, also the leg cramps at night. Because these things affect your life and your work, as they did in his case, they’re covered by all health insurance, such as Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and many other common insurances.
Correspondent: Now, we have some more pictures we have to take a look at. I just want you to describe for me what it is we’re looking at. The first, second, and third and fourth.
Dr. Wazni: Varicose vein disease is progressive, so as you get older it gets worse. You may first start off with some visible veins, which will then lead to swelling. Then you can get some overlying skin discoloration, and lastly it can lead to ulcers on your legs.
Correspondent: So if you see or feel any of this, you’ve gotta get in. How easy is it for you to determine if it is varicose veins? What is the procedure to find out if that is the case?
Dr. Wazni: These days we have ultrasounds. Ultrasounds are like x-rays. They show us what’s going on below the skin. And by doing an ultrasound, which only takes, say, 20 minutes, we can find out if you do have bad veins through what’s called a vein screening.
Correspondent: And if you find out through this vein screening that you do have bad legs and your varicose veins are a problem, how quickly can you have them fixed?
Dr. Wazni: Usually the next week we can bring you in and use the lasers to zap them closed, so it can happen relatively quickly.
Correspondent: All right. Well, I know we’re going to see Mark in a lot more shorts now. Dr. Wazni and Mark Mueller, thank you both very much for coming in. And you can see the dates right now for upcoming screenings on your screen. And for more information you can call 1-800-VEIN-DOC or go to this website, UnitedVeinCenters.com, for more information. Gentlemen, thank you very much.
Dr. Wazni: Thank you.
Correspondent: We’ll be right back.