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Legs Ache? Page 8 | Florida Health Care News | Fall 2010 | Hernando County Edition Vein TreaTmenT FHcn PHoTo By AmAnDA SmITH Varicose veins aren’t always unsightly, but they are always unhealthy. Modern techniques treat these incompetent veins with minimal discomfort and virtually no downtime. J ack Rutledge says his knees looked like a relief map of the Appalachian Premier Vein centers Mountains. “It was really ugly,” says the retired engi- Ravi ShaRma, mD neer whose career spanned the globe. “My way valves that help move blood back to the legs hurt. There was a constant feeling of heart fail to close properly and allow blood tiredness, and at times, especially after ato flow backward in the veins. The blood round of golf, they would ache.” forms pools that stretch and stress the veins The 74-year-old confides that he has further and may cause a bulging, unsightly always had problems with varicose veins: “Iappearance on the surface of the skin. recently underwent chemo for my second “Nearly half of the US population suf- recurrence of lung cancer, and during that fers from vein disease,” observes Dr. Sharma. process my veins became more of a problem.“Heredity is a strong risk factor, and people The ones in my lower legs were so bad that who stand in place or sit for long periods they measured about nine millimeters in of time without walking often complain of diameter, about the size of your thumb.” varicose veins. After reading about Ravi Sharma, MD, “Patients developing varicosities often complain of an aching, heavy feeling in the who is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic legs at the end of the day, and their symp- Surgery, Jack says he scheduled an appoint-toms may worsen at night with leg cramps ment with him to talk about his veins. or phantom sensations. Varicose veins are “Frankly, after what I’d been through, not always visible, so many patients do not I wasn’t really feeling too confident aboutrecognize the onset of vein disease. the medical profession, but I cannot say “When patients experience leg pain enough good about Dr. Sharma and his like this, it is important for them to have their veins assessed,” emphasizes the doctor. staff. They put me totally at ease and left no Jack says that he played 18 questions unanswered. “Leaving the condition untreated can lead holes of golf recently for the “Dr. Sharma is a down-to-earth guy to much more serious difficulties, includ- first time in a long time. who described to me exactly what was ing leg ulcers, infection, and a breakdown going on and what would happen during of the skin.” evaluating their health and harvesting them for grafting if the patient needs a coronary my treatments.” There is value to having diseased veins for coronary bypass, they have an intimate bypass later in life. Because of this deeper evaluated by physicians with specialized knowledge of how these veins function. understanding, they always select the most About varicose veins training in cardiovascular surgery. When They understand how important it is to pre- conservative treatment option to address a Varicose veins develop when the tiny one- physicians work with leg veins every day, serve the veins’ health so they are available patient’s problem veins. Misplacing Blame she suggested that I have Dr. Sharma take a look at it.” P atricia Welsh says she was misplacing blame. She took her physician’s advice. Patricia remembers that her legs were “I had nagging, aching pain in my legs,” describes Patricia. “It was especially painful on the day of that first appointment, and that she literally bad enough that it affected the way I walked, and then, of course, hobbled into his office. when you don’t walk properly, other things begin to hurt. “But our personalities just meshed,” she recalls with a grin. “He is just the “The problem was, I was blaming my knees for the pain.” sweetest, most wonderful man, and not the least bit aloof. He is so easy to Patricia admits she had a large varicose vein on her left leg: “It had talk to and he made me feel right at ease.” probably been with me for twenty-five years, but I wasn’t aware that it was Patricia says that following her examination, the practice gave her a bothering me. However, on one of my visits to my primary care physician, pair of compression stockings to wear home: “I couldn’t believe how much better my legs felt. By the time I had walked back through the parking lot FHcn FILE PHoTo Patricia Welsh to my car, I realized I was walking normally; they are absolutely miracle workers.” Following the necessary ultrasounds required to properly diagnose Patricia’s veins, Dr. Sharma began treatment on her legs. He used a combina- tion of EVLA, phlebectomy, and ultrasound-guided sclerosing injections. “I had both legs treated,” she recounts. “I specifically remember the back of my right knee just ached and, there again, I was blaming my knee for the pain. But once Dr. Sharma treated Ravi Sharma, MD, is board it, the pain was gone. certified by the american Board of Surger y and “It was really great how it all american Board of Thoracic turned out. And there was a big Surgery. he completed his undergraduate studies at added bonus: my legs look great!” the University of maryland at College Park and attended For premier vein treatment the University of maryland Graduate School, Baltimore, before receiving his medical degree Dr. Sharma, a board-certified cardiovascular from Eastern virginia School of medicine, Norfolk. surgeon, invites you to have your leg veins Dr. Sharma completed his internship and resi- assessed at Premier vein Centers located dency in general surgery at Eastern virginia Graduate School of medicine Department of at 7767 S. Suncoast Blvd. in homosassa, Surgery, Norfolk, and completed a residency phone (352) 621-0777, or 8849 Hawbuck in thoracic surgery at George Washington St. in Trinity, phone (866) 998-8831. University, Washington, DC. Hernando County Edition | Fall 2010|Florida Health Care News | Page 9 Treatment options “I Can Even Wear Shorts Again.” using local anesthesia. EVLA offers a relatively J Until 1999, the only treatment available for comfortable and highly effective way to treat patients with bulging varicose veins was sur- varicose veins. This laser can also be used to ennifer morgan’s legs were throb- FHcn PHoTo By AmAnDA SmITH gical vein excisions or vein stripping, which treat superficial leg and face veins. is a procedure where the vein is removed EVLA generally results in little or no bing with pain. from the leg. Performed under general or discomfort for the patient, causes little or “I began seeing Dr. Sharma about local anesthetic, it involves making one or no scarring, restores circulation and a more more incisions, usually in the groin or leg, aesthetic appearance, and allows a patient’s a year ago,” recounts the 39-year-old through which the vein is pulled out from quick return to normal activities. data provider customer service representa- the body. tive. “I was working two jobs at the time, Fortunately, today Premier Vein Centers Success offers a full range of advanced treatment “The worst part of the whole procedure at a grocery store and a bank, so I was on options for addressing varicose and spider was having to wear those silly compression my feet all day. It was terrible. my legs were veins. According to Dr. Sharma, microphle- stockings,” notes Jack with a laugh. “The bectomy removes problem veins through a procedure itself was exactly as Dr. Sharma constantly throbbing.” series of small incisions that heal with little had described it, and now my legs are beau- Jennifer says her primary care physician evidence left on the surface of the skin, and tiful again! feared she had a blood clot in the calf of smaller spider veins can be treated with “Seriously, they no longer hurt whatsoever. sclerosing injections to gently close the I played eighteen holes of golf the other day her leg: “They did an mRI but they found problem vessels. for the first time in a long time, and believe nothing. As it turned out, it was a protrud- Jack underwent endovenous laser abla- me, my legs were the least of my problems. I ing vein. my doctor said it wasn’t good; it tion (EVLA) in both of his legs, followed by had absolutely no discomfort in my legs. sclerosing injections. EVLA, which is per- “In my opinion, when it comes to treat- was something I needed to have taken care formed in the comfort of a doctor’s office, ing varicose veins, the reward is much greater of so I scheduled an appointment with Dr. introduces a sterile laser fiber into the incom- than the risk. No one should let any sort Jennifer Morgan petent vein via a small puncture in the leg. of cowardice interfere with scheduling an Sharma. Laser energy is delivered through this fiber, appointment with Dr. Sharma. He is the “His staff is awesome. They are the best. And he is so thorough.” painlessly closing the vein in less than an hour salt of the earth.” FHCN–Kris Kline Jennifer had EVLA, first on one leg and then, ten months later, Dr. Sharma treated her second leg. He is now treating her spider veins with sclerosing MorE PATIEnTS’ STorIES injections. “my legs look one hundred percent better,” she says, “and they feel so much Deb’s Story better. I can even wear shorts again. “I love Dr. Sharma. He is so gentle and kind. I told him I wish he could be a Deborah Hughes says varicose veins run in her family. “my grandmother suf- doctor of all trades because I would come to him for everything.” fered horribly from them,” she remembers, “and she had to have them stripped. oh, that was an inhumane procedure.” Deb’s varicose veins developed in 1996 shortly after her son was born. Capris, Please S “At first, they didn’t cause me any discomfort,” assures Deb, “so I didn’t think hirlee Jermain says she had about having them treated. I thought they were simply a cosmetic concern varicose veins during the at the time. twelve years she cared “Then I started having horrible pains in my legs. They felt so heavy, like FHcn PHoTo By BoBBy BAISDEn for her husband, a double I was holding fluid in them. There wasn’t any relief,” she emphasizes, “and I amputee. She believes that experienced sharp, cutting pains along the veins that protruded most. “I’m on my feet a lot at work, and not long after the pain started, I just all of the lifting, pulling, and couldn’t take it anymore. I consulted my insurance plan and scheduled an turning she did may have appointment with Dr. Sharma.” exacerbated them. Deb quickly discovered how important it is to have such a highly qualified “It’s odd,” contemplates the specialist working on her behalf. great-great-grandmother, “we Shirlee Jermain “Dr. Sharma is awesome,” assures Deb. “I was immediately comfortable humans seem to take better care with him, and when he treated me with EVLT, it was done right there in the of our cars than we do of ourselves. office.” During the day, my varicose veins ached, as EVLT offers a relatively comfortable and highly effective way to treat vari- cose veins. though someone had kicked me. Then at night, they felt creepy and crawly. “This was so much better than the stripping my grandmother endured,” That wasn’t painful, but it kept me awake. Deb emphasizes. “my EVLT wasn’t painful, it was accomplished quickly in the “Finally, after my husband passed away, I thought it was time to take care office, and I was able to go home, relax a bit, and then go right out and listen of myself. When I read an article about Dr. Sharma in Florida Health Care News, to my friend’s band practicing that evening. I thought, This man sounds like the answer to my prayers.” “I don’t have any more pain in my legs, the heaviness is gone, and there Shirlee scheduled an appointment with the doctor. are no more ugly, protruding veins sticking out. “He was very, very informative,” she remembers. “He took me through the “I’m very happy.” process step by step, and I was so grateful for that. It indicated to me just how Tara’s Story thorough he was going to be.” Dr. Sharma performed EVLA for Shirley, followed by sclerosing Tara Tosh could see she had varicose veins. injections. “I had a lot of leg pain,” confides Tara, a nurse in her early thirties. “I’m on my feet a lot, and the pain behind both knees had been escalating for a couple “His staff is so wonderful,” she reflects. “While the doctor is working on of years. But even though they hurt and looked ugly, I thought I would have my legs, the girls and I almost end up in tears from talking and laughing to pay privately for treatment and knew I couldn’t afford it. so much.” “Finally, however, I spoke to my primary care physician, who referred me She says that the entire process has been a really nice experience. to Dr. Sharma. “my legs feel much more comfortable now, and there’s no more creepy “The entire staff was extremely friendly, and I felt very comfortable speak- crawlies at night, which is wonderful,” assures the 83-year-old. “I’m back to ing with Dr. Sharma,” Tara says. “He has a compassionate bedside manner and wearing my capris and I’ve already threatened everyone that I’m even going is very knowledgeable; he explained everything thoroughly.” back on the golf course. Tara underwent ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, and was treated with endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). “At first, there were not enough hours in the day. now, I find too many, so “I can’t express my gratitude enough to Dr. Sharma,” says Tara. “my legs I’m also going to volunteer at Hospice and my legs will be in shape for that. look great and they are free from pain.” “I’m very pleased.”
"Misplacing Blame - Premier Vein Centers"