We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they
hear from their patients.
Q: Should I be worried about my varicose veins?
A: Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red or flesh colored.
They are often (but not always), raised above the skin on legs and look
like twisted, bulging cords.
Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins that regulate blood flow
direction from the legs toward the heart no longer function properly,
causing blood to pool in the legs, a condition called venous insufficiency.
Venous insufficiency can become chronic and result in leg swelling, cramping,
aching, heaviness or tiredness, itching, open skin sores, and restlessness
of the legs.
Recent studies also show a correlation between varicose veins and deep
venous thrombosis (DVT) which can be a precursor to pulmonary embolism
(PE) which can be fatal. Nearly 25% of the global adult population is
afflicted with Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), and don't even
know they have the problem. Some symptoms of CVI include:
- Heaviness or tiredness
- Open skin sores
- Varicose veins
Both varicose veins and CVI can be treated effectively. I perform minimally-invasive
treatment for CVI and varicose veins that uses radiofrequency ablation
(heat) to seal off the problem vein so blood gets re-routed to other veins
that are functionally normally. These procedures are done as an outpatient
with no downtime and an immediate ability to walk and do activities after
the procedure in most cases.
The reason that most people do not know they have this problem is because
an ultrasound exam is required to diagnose it. The ultrasound allows us
not only diagnose venous insufficiency but also pinpoint the location.
The procedure is performed under sterile conditions and can be done in the
Cardiac Cath Lab or
office setting. You don’t need a
doctor’s referral to come and see us for further evaluation and an ultrasound if you exhibit
any of these symptoms or have any concerns about the way your legs feel.
Sairav Shah, MD, FACC, practices at Campbell County Medical Group
Cardiology, which is part of CCH’s robust Cardiovascular Services program.
Our highly skilled, board certified cardiologists at the Cardiology clinic
are here at all times to care for patients and our
cardiac cath lab allows us to provide care quickly during an emergency. And, we can help
get you back to your daily routine after a heart incident with our
Cardiac Rehabilitation program. Dr. Shah and
Dr. Nicholas Stamato, FACC, use these and other tools to diagnose and treat heart problems
as the first cardiologists living and working in Gillette, Wyoming. The
cardiac care team includes our physicians, registered nurses in the Clinic,
as well as a team of registered nurses and technicians in the Cardiac
Cath Lab and Cardiac Rehabilitation. Learn more at