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 September 27, 2003
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New Procedure For Varicose Veins
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EVLT Procedure
Rhode Island Medical Imaging

Mary-Kay Voyer is young and active, but her legs are slowing her down.

"It's just annoying if you're on the go and you have to sit down all the time," says Mary-Kay.

Mary-Kay is sick of the bulging, rope-like, painful varicose veins that snake up and down her right leg.

"It's achy and sometimes it does get very painful.  I feel very uncomfortable. I very rarely wear shorts or a skirt out."

Varicose veins are usually the result of a faulty blood valve in the greater saphenous vein.  If the valves fail to close off the blood flow it can cause the veins to swell and blood to pool in the legs, causing these unsightly veins.

"It's a pathologic problem. It's something that should be fixed and restored to its normal state. It's not just cosmetic," says interventional radiologist Dr. Gregory Soares of Rhode Island Medical Imaging.

Dr. Soares is the first in the area to perform a new minimally-invasive procedure called endovenous laser treatment, or EVLT.

"We make one access about the size of the inside of a ball point pen. We place a catheter through that tiny hole and that's the only incision that we make through the entire procedure," says Dr. Soares.

Dr. Soares inserts a tiny laser into the greater saphenous vein through the catheter. The laser closes off the vein and stops the problem at its source.  Mary-Kay is in and out in an hour and a half and back on her feet right away.  She's instructed to wear a compression stocking for ten days and two weeks later she's already seeing results.

"So far so good. It seems to be working.  It wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be."

Dr. Soares says,  "She has some bruising but otherwise her leg looks really good and we've had a decrease in the size of her varicose veins."

"I feel wonderful. I feel really great.  I'm definitely looking forward to wearing those shorts and skirts!"

The procedure is being performed through Rhode Island Medical Imaging.   For more information you can call (401)432-2400.

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