Treatment offers relief from painful varicose veins
Angie King of Detroit has been in healthcare for more than 20 years, currently as a medical assistant. She loves her job and helping people. But being on her feet all day caused her varicose veins to swell, causing pain and heaviness in her legs. “Some days I was in real pain and it’s hard not to show it. I had to sit down frequently just to get off my legs for a minute, walking got painful.”
Angie heard about a treatment that could help her being performed by Mark Bolduc, MD, a physician with Northern Light Vascular Care (offices in Pittsfield and Waterville). The procedure is called Radio Frequency Ablation or RFA for short. It’s an in-office procedure that eases the common symptoms of varicose veins, which can include pain, swelling, achiness and irritation. RFA can help sufferers avoid a more involved surgical procedure. Dr. Bolduc performs RFA at Sebasticook Valley Hospital and also sees patients for consultations at Northern Light Vascular Care in Waterville.
Dr. Bolduc has more than 20 years of experience with the procedure. He sees patients of all ages, many of whom who work on their feet all day such as teachers, and those in retail and healthcare – like Angie King. “It’s a procedure that lasts about 60 minutes using local anesthesia, the patient stays awake the whole time,” says Dr. Bolduc.
Dr. Bolduc explains that varicose veins can appear because of damaged vein walls and valves. RFA works by sending a thermal heat source to an affected vein and closes it off, which helps reduce pain to the leg. “Patients will find relief from the nagging ache and itchiness in five-seven days. I’ve seen it make a big difference in a person’s daily life.”
It’s been five months since Angie had RFA. “I am so happy I did it. I’m more active now, and I’m not in pain after standing at my job for long periods of time. I can keep up with my younger colleagues at work!” she said with a smile. “It’s really changed my life and I hope I can encourage others to check it out.”
RFA is covered by most insurances if a medical necessity. Contact your primary care provider for a referral. Visit Northernlight.org/SVHveins
or call Northern Light Vascular Care in Pittsfield-207.487.4040 or Waterville-207.861.8030 for more information.