By Joseph Magnant, MD, FACS
Julian had seen half a dozen physicians of different specialty backgrounds over the course of 10 years searching for the answer to his question of why his right leg was swelling. He never thought he had received a logical explanation and had resigned himself to live with the problem. Fortunately, he had a friend who had come across an article regarding venous insufficiency as a potential cause of limb swelling. Since he did not have any external bulging varicose veins, he and others had concluded that his leg swelling was not in any way related to a vein problem. He read the article in a local medical newspaper and then went to the internet to delve further into the possible mechanism of this.
Self Education and Self Advocacy
In addition to his complaint of leg swelling, his vein evaluation unearthed other symptoms of achiness and night time leg cramps, right worse than left, symptoms of restless legs and frequent night time urination. His symptoms had been minimally improved by compression hose therapy over the course of years. Ultrasound evaluation subsequently revealed severe bilateral great saphenous vein insufficiency and he soon thereafter underwent staged endovenous ablation (sealing) of the great saphenous veins with immediate and near complete resolution of his original symptoms. His 15 year quest for a cause and solution to his symptoms came to a successful conclusion as a result of self education and self advocacy.
Today, more than ever, it is important for patients to take an active role in researching their medical care. Fortunately, the internet has provided the means by which to perform research on individual health care providers, health conditions as well as available treatment options.
Lost in the Maze of Provider Choices?
“In this day of advances in medical treatments with improvement and refinement in technology, patients have almost unlimited access to health-related information in print media, on television networks, and through the internet,” observes Dr. Magnant. “However, because of this plethora of information, patients can, at times, find themselves lost in the maze of provider choices. Rather than remaining frustrated by dead-end answers or the absence of diagnosis for their physical complaints, patients are taking to their own research.”
Primary Care Physicians Can Provide
Dr. Magnant confirms that primary care physician recommendations may be useful in choosing the right specialist: “Even references from physicians other than your own, such as a friend’s primary care physician, may prove helpful. Primary care physicians have a broad exposure to patient problems and are probably the best source for specialist referrals.”
Practice Websites Provide Depth of Content and Physician Training Record
Another good starting place when researching specialty providers is their practice website, says Dr. Magnant. “Its depth of content and the completeness of each physician’s training record are important aspects to review. From a good website, patients should be able to determine what percentage of the practice is dedicated to the physician’s area of specialty training and whether that area is applicable to the patient’s own health issues.”
Take Advantage of Free In-Office Screenings
“But perhaps the most important piece of homework patients can do is to take advantage of free in-office screenings when offered or take advantage of online health screenings, such as that offered by our practice on our website weknowveins.com and through our screening site eveinscreening.com. These enable patients to meet the doctor and the staff, and to gather information regarding the treatments they offer and any literature regarding the physician’s practice and training. Any other information they glean regarding their specific condition and treatment options should be considered a bonus.”
Dr. Magnant is a board certified vascular surgeon who specializes 100% on vein evaluation and modern treatments for the entire spectrum of vein problems. Many of his patients have a family history of venous insufficiency or varicose veins. Mothers of children of any age, nurses, teachers, hairstylists, police officers, dancers, athletes, pharmacists, students, and people from every other imaginable walk of life may have vein problems. Many of these patients were once considered untreatable since the stripping procedure was so invasive and “dangerous.”
Since stripping no longer is performed, and the techniques Dr. Magnant has to offer can be performed in the office under local anesthesia with minimal downtime, many of these patients are great candidates for endovenous closure as the definitive cure for their vein problems. So whether you suffer from the most common presenting symptoms of venous insufficiency which is painful bulging varicose veins, or you are one of the other millions of patients in the USA with more obscure presenting complaints such as swollen & achy legs, discolored skin in the lower leg, non-healing leg ulcers, history of varicose vein bleeding, or nighttime symptoms such as Charlie horses, cramps, restless legs or frequent urination, you deserve a risk free diagnostic leg vein ultrasound to rule out correctable venous insufficiency.
Experts in the Evaluation and Treatment of Venous Insufficiency
Dr. Joseph Magnant is a board certified vascular surgeon and vein expert and is singularly focused on the modern evaluation and treatment of venous insufficiency. He offers state of the art, noninvasive venous duplex ultrasound evaluations as well as laser and radiofrequency endovenous closure treatments for venous insufficiency. Vein Specialists can be reached at 239-694-8346 or on the web at www.weknowveins.com.
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