McLaren Northern Michigan Treats Vein Disease

MyNorth News Service

(Press release provided by Nickel Design Inc., McLaren Northern Michigan)

McLaren Northern Michigan is offering a minimally invasive procedure to treat vein disease. Clinical studies have shown the procedure to be highly effective. Gaylord resident Elizabeth Moore shares her experience with venous disease and her life after Venefit™ Targeted Endovenous Therapy.


Elizabeth “Betty” Moore was born and raised in Northern Michigan. The 69-year-old is the mother of two grown children, owner of several Gaylord businesses, and honorary Gaylord firefighter—her late husband of 41 years was a fireman, and Betty would cook and bake for the crew. And while she has always kept very busy, she was not without health issues.

As the owner of Jet’s Pizza in Gaylord, Betty loved spinning pizza dough, but she didn’t love the leg pain, swelling, and discomfort that she would experience after spending hours on her feet. She didn’t know that the condition was really caused by Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), a vein disease in which the valves carrying blood from the legs to the heart lose function, allowing blood to pool in the legs. “I thought it was a weight issue,” she explains.

Vein disease is a common, yet often undiagnosed condition, which can cause pain, swelling, cramps, limited mobility, and infections in the legs. However, the symptoms and skin findings often overlap with more serious conditions, such as heart failure and peripheral artery disease.

Because of this, cardiologists are often involved in the diagnosis of venous disease. Betty’s cardiologist, David Corteville, MD, who treated her previously for a heart valve condition, recommended that she see Andrew Teklinski, MD, cardiologist and Vein Clinic medical director. “Most conditions of venous disease are very uncomfortable, but are easily treatable after diagnosis,” Dr. Teklinski says, “and Betty’s case was typical.”

McLaren Northern Michigan began offering Venefit™ Targeted Endovenous Therapy in 2014, formerly known as VNUS Closure, for patients with chronic venous insufficiency. The minimally invasive procedure is a segmental ablation treatment that uses radiofrequency energy for the application of even and uniform heat to contract and seal the walls of a diseased vein.

Clinical studies have shown the procedure to have excellent long-term outcomes. Patients report less pain and bruising, and a faster recovery than lesser treatment. “The procedure has quickly proven its efficacy,” explains Cardiologist Andrew Teklinski, MD. “Our patients usually realize substantial improvement in just a matter of days.”

Betty was treated at the Vein Clinic with an office procedure — endovenous thermal ablation — that took less than an hour. A Registered Vascular Technologist produced an image of vein structures and gauged the speed and flow of blood through the veins.

With the Vein Clinic’s new Venefit™ system, a thin flexible tube, or catheter, was inserted into the diseased vein and, using ultrasound for guidance, radiofrequency energy was then applied to the diseased vein, causing it to collapse and seal. Blood then rerouted itself automatically into healthy veins.

“It was painless,” Betty says, and her recovery time was minimal: after the procedure, she went shopping, enjoyed lunch at the casino, and then drove herself home. Within a week, she could stand and walk without pain, and her knees stopped hurting. “It was totally amazing,” she says.

Since her treatment, Betty can throw pizzas at Jet’s and work at her other businesses with virtually no swelling in her legs. “I would tell people to definitely try the procedure,” she says. And, she adds, “I am walking more; I’ve lost a whole size; and now I have ankles again.”

In addition to the Vein Clinic, McLaren Northern Michigan offers specialized heart and vascular clinics to address individual patient needs including the Heart Failure Clinic, Heart Valve Clinic, and Arrhythmia Clinic. Ask your doctor for a referral, or learn more by calling (800) 248-6777 or visiting northernhealth.org/heart.

Factors that increase the risk of vein disease:

  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Increasing age for both men and women
  • Pregnancy
  • Occupations requiring prolonged standing
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Trauma
  • Smoking

Common symptoms that may benefit from the Vein Clinic:

  • Leg heaviness and fatigue
  • Restless legs
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Leg pain, aching, cramping (especially at night), or itching
  • Varicose veins
  • Skin discoloration of the legs
  • Ulcers, open wounds, or sores
  • Light headedness upon standing
  • Frequent infections

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