Allegan General Opens Vein Care Clinic


Allegan General Hospital (AGH) can now provide treatment for individuals suffering from painful varicose veins. The Hospital’s new Vein Care Clinic specializes in treating varicose veins and other symptoms caused by Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).

According to the Vascular Disease Foundation more than 24 million Americans suffer from severe varicose veins, which can cause aching, heaviness, swelling, fatigue and pain in the legs.

“Half of all seniors, including two-thirds of women over 60, will experience varicose veins at some point,” said AGH’s Vein Care Coordinator Christine Greer, RN, BSN. “Heredity, pregnancy, obesity and careers requiring extended standing, like nursing and teaching, are the primary risk factors. Complications may include leg ulcers and dangerous blood clots.”

Varicose veins generally occur when the valves fail in the primary leg vein, which is called the greater saphenous. Those valves are supposed to push blood back up towards the heart, but when they can not do the job anymore, the blood pools in the veins.

AGH’s Vein Care Clinic offers venous ablation. Venous ablation uses breakthrough catheter technology, the same kind that is used for heart interventions. Under a local anesthetic, a catheter, about the thickness of a spaghetti noodle, is threaded into the vein to heat it from within and seal it off, rather than removing it. The doctor pulls the device through the vein, using radiofrequency (RF) energy to heat the vein walls and cause them to collapse inward on themselves. Once the vein is sealed, the body automatically re-routes blood flow through healthier vessels and normal circulation is restored. The symptoms quickly dissipate, and the sealed vein is eventually absorbed by the body.

“We encourage patients to get up and walk immediately after the procedure, and most return to moderate activity the very next day,” said Dr. Marcus Blass, general surgeon at Allegan General. “The pain and fatigue patients previously experienced will gradually disappear and the swollen veins begin to decrease in size in a week or two.”

To learn more about AGH’s Vein Care Clinic, call (269) 686-4058.

Allegan General Hospital is a community hospital that focuses on providing exceptional, compassionate and personalized healthcare to the community it serves. The hospital has been named four years in a row by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare. Allegan General provides a wide range of healthcare services, including bariatrics, surgery, sleep center, emergency, physical rehabilitation and mental health.

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