When people ask what the most challenging aspect of life as a New Orleans vein specialist is, I sometimes use a particular analogy to explain how frustrating it can be to deal with patients who have harmed their own health by not taking their vein disease more seriously. I explain that it’s a little like being a mechanic who specializes in exotic Porsche automobiles. I know a mechanic like this, and he tells me that several times every year one of his customers brings in one of these cars for service, and it’s a total disaster. So they have a conversation like this:
Owner: “My car isn’t working as well as it used to.”
Mechanic: “When was the last time you brought it in for service?”
Owner: “Oh, I’ve never had it serviced. I didn’t know I needed to…it’s a Porsche.”
Mechanic: “Well, when did you first notice the problems you’re complaining about – the clanking, and the smoke pouring out of the exhaust?”
Owner: “Several months ago, but I figured they’d go away if I ignored them.”
As New Orleans metro area vascular doctors, we have similar conversations:
Patient: “My legs hurt, and my legs and ankles are swollen most of the time.”
Doctor: “Hmmm…when was the last time you had a vein health checkup.”
Patient: “Oh, I’ve never had one.”
Doctor: “But I couldn’t help but notice you have varicose veins. Didn’t you take this as a warning sign and see a doctor about them?”
Patient: “No – I didn’t think it was necessary. Varicose veins aren’t serious, not like a real disease, and I figured they’d just go away if I ignored them.”
Your body isn’t a Porsche, but it requires regular checkups just like one
Vein disease IS a real disease. The problem is that many people don’t think it is, and don’t think that they need to take precautions against it. They don’t believe that they “need” a vein health screening – or even believe that they should consult a vein specialist if they start experiencing symptoms like the patient in the second scenario above – because they don’t believe vein disease can be serious.
It’s serious. A recent study found that 20% to 50% of patients admitted to hospitals following a stroke also had some form of vein disease that contributed to the stroke. In almost every case, the patients in this study didn’t know that they had a vein disease, because they’d never had a venous health screening. Many of the patients in this study actually died from their stroke, and the real tragedy is that these deaths could have been prevented if they’d had a checkup.
A vein health check up is painless and noninvasive, but can save your life
A venous health screening at La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center takes only about an hour. But it enables your New Orleans vein specialist to determine whether you have a vein disease or are at high risk of getting one. Some of these diseases have visible symptoms like varicose veins, but others can only be detected by New Orleans vein treatment experts who have been trained in the use of ultrasound and other specialized diagnostic equipment. So if you haven’t had a vein health checkup in years – or, like the unfortunate Porsche owner in our first scenario you’ve never had one – now is the time to change that. Vein disease does matter, and the best way to prevent it is to call your board certified New Orleans vein specialist, Dr. Randall S. Juleff.