Hospital offers solution for pain in legs

Hospital offers solution for pain in legs 4November

People with painful legs may be able to find a state-of-the-art, relatively simple solution at the Wickenburg Community Hospital.

Jeremy Bramwell, DO, and Matt Jones, FNP, are on the lookout for patients who may be good candidates for endovenous laser treatment (also called venous ablation).

The minimally invasive, ultrasound-guided laser treatment has replaced vein stripping for patients with arterial disease and varicose veins.

Jones said patients sometimes don’t know what is causing the pain or heaviness in their legs. Some believe it may be from age or arthritis; others have visible bulging veins or spider veins.

The first method of treatment is to try compression stockings for about three months, Bramwell explained. If that doesn’t provide relief, then typically insurance companies will agree to cover endovenous laser treatment.

First, the patient undergoes an ultrasound, which maps the legs, measures blood flow and shows direction of blood flow to determine whether the laser treatment will be effective.  If the patient is a good candidate for the procedure, he or she is referred to Aaron Wittenburg, MD who specializes in vascular and interventional radiology. Wittenburg travels to Wickenburg to perform the procedure at the Wickenburg community Hospital Med Spa and Laser Center.

The procedure is relatively simple, Bramwell explained. During the outpatient process, the patient receives a mild sedative, and a catheter with a laser is guided by ultrasound into the compromised vein. The laser is used to close the leaky valves.

The process takes about an hour, Bramwell said. Usually, the patient feels relief the same day. Follow-up includes a couple of weeks wearing compression stockings. “It’s 97 percent successful,” Jones said. “This is not something rural hospitals usually do, but we can take care of these patients here in Wickenburg and they don’t have to go to the Valley for treatment,” Bramwell said.

Sue Ball of Wickenburg had the procedure done at the hospital. She remembers her legs cramping or feeling “jumpy.”  Sometimes the pain was so severe; she had to soak in the tub to find relief. “I highly recommend venous ablation, its simple compared to what I lived with before,” she said. For more information, call (928) 668-5510.

Article originally published in The Wickenburg Sun http://wickenburgsun.com by Jeanie Williams, Editor

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