When Venous Insufficiency Masquerades as Kidney Problems

By Joseph Magnant, MD, FACS

SWF Health and Wellness MagazineOne of the less recognized and often overlooked problems patients with severe leg swelling may suffer rom is treatable superficial venous insufficiency. For eight years, Diane Martin never slept for over two hours at a time.

“I would have to get up and go to the bathroom to urinate,” she remembers. “Every time I got up in the middle of the night, I used to write it down. It was just like clockwork, and it was exhausting. I never got a restful sleep. I went to a urologist and was checked for problems like infection and cancer of the bladder. They could find nothing, so I figured I’d just have to live with it.”

Diane confides that, along with her frequent urination, her legs were very achy and swollen: “Then one day while I was at my primary care physician’s office, I drew it to her attention. She referred me to Dr. Magnant.”

Vascular Surgeon and Vein Expert

Joseph G. Magnant, MD, FACS, is a board-certified vascular surgeon and vein expert whose practice, Vein Specialists, is 100% dedicated to the modern evaluation and treatment of leg vein disorders.

“It’s a very pleasant office,” describes Diane. “It’s like a spa atmosphere; it makes you feel very comfortable and it really stands out. Dr. Magnant really got my attention when he was going through a list of symptoms and asked if I used the restroom a lot during the night.” “I said, Oh my gosh, I do, and it wasn’t just at night. With my job, I’m running all day long between hospitals and physicians’ offices, and the first thing I would do at each location was to find a restroom.”

“Once Dr. Magnant asked me about it, I was very excited. I returned for a full ultrasound on each leg. The Vascular Technologist, J.T., was very informative. He showed me that my veins were leaking severely in both legs, which I never suspected because I didn’t have any bulging, ropey veins.”

More Than Varicose Veins

“There are many different presentations of venous insufficiency other than just varicose veins,” explains Dr. Magnant. Venous insufficiency is defined as the condition in which the valves of the deep and/or superficial veins of the lower extremities no longer function properly in a one-way manner. These valves are either stuck or scarred in the open position, or are floppy and continue to open, or prolapse, beyond the closed position.

This results in reflux or backward blood flow in the veins, which produces increased pressure in the venous system of the legs. “Some patients have swollen feet and ankles, achy legs, leg ulcers, persistent itching over the affected area, extreme urinary frequency, as in Diane’s case, or a feeling of tiredness, especially at the end of the day,” says Dr. Magnant. “Several of my patients also describe restlessness in the affected leg during the night, which often subsides once the underlying leaky veins are treated.”

“We rely heavily on ultrasound evaluation of our patients’ veins. An ultrasound evaluation can determine whether or not there are any problems in the saphenous veins or deeper veins. If we find leaky veins, we can perform an endovenous closure procedure or sealing procedure to find the problem, which is usually covered by insurance.”

What is an Endovenous Closure?

Endovenous closure is an in-office procedure which involves placing a thin catheter into the faulty vein and then delivering heat energy to the vein wall, causing it to seal shut. There is no future danger by collapsing the vein because it wasn’t working properly anyway and the other veins have already compensated for its insufficiency.

“I was a little nervous about having the procedure,” admits Diane, “but it was really painless.” Diane says that the procedure was covered by her insurance and her only charge was her deductible and her co-pay. “I now sleep for six hours straight, and I’m a different person. I’m so rested. And there’s no pain, which is awesome. For years my legs resembled stovepipes. Now, they look totally normal.”

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
or on the web at www.weknowveins.com.


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