Nothing Swell About Leg Swelling

Rachel was buying shoes last month, and was dismayed to discover her normal size 7 was too tight.  She had to go up to a size 8, which she has never been in her life.  She was curious, because it wasn’t a hot, humid day, she wasn’t retaining water, nor was she taking any medications that commonly cause swelling as a side effect.  Over the following weeks, she noticed that her ankles and calves were frequently swollen, and her legs were starting to feel itchy and achy.   Rachel had never had this problem before, and she was concerned enough to go see her doctor, who after doing an examination and ruling out heart failure, kidney failure and liver failure, as well as an blood clots in her legs, referred her to see a vein specialist.


Rachel’s doctor referred her to Dr. Krikorian of St. Louis.  She immediately liked his kind, compassionate “bedside manner,” and the way he made her feel like she was his only patient.  He examined her, asked her many questions about her health, and ran some tests, and finally concluded Rachel was suffering from  chronic venous insufficiency, which he told her meant the veins in her legs were not properly pumping blood, causing the edema in her ankles and lower legs.


What Exactly is Venous Insufficiency?


Venous Insufficiency happens when a vein is partly blocked, or blood begins leaking around the valves located in the veins.  There are certain risk factors that make this disease more common in some patients:


  • Aging
  • Female
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Being tall
  • Genetic factors


Rachel was in her 50s, fairly tall and sat at a desk all day working on a computer.  Dr. Krikorian of St. Louis explained to her that he also was seeing the development of varicose veins in her legs, which she had noticed a while ago, but never attributed them to anything more than something unsightly she had to deal with.  He then discussed options for treatment, concluding that for Rachel, the best course of treatment was Endovenous Laser Ablation.


Dr. Krikorian of St. Louis Uses Recent FDA-Approved Treatment


Endovenous Laser Ablation, also referred to as EVLT, has a 98% success rate treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency.  Dr. Krikorian of St. Louis used a local anesthetic to numb the legs, and then using an ultrasound as guidance, inserted a laser fiber into Rachel’s abnormal veins.  When Dr. Krikorian activated this laser, the affected veins were sealed and then absorbed into her body.


The entire procedure took about one hour, and Rachel was relieved there was no downtime and she could resume her normal activities the next day – in fact he encouraged her to actually increase her walking to help her heal.  Rachel is extremely grateful to Dr. Krikorian of St. Louis for so easily ridding her of not only her ugly varicose veins, but relieving her of her bothersome swelling and pain.  And the next time she went shoe shopping – it was back to size sevens!