Local woman finally gets relief after living with painful varicose veins for decades

Local athlete gets relief from painful varicose veins
May 7,2013
Two years ago, Albany resident Elke Asleson, now age 60, had accepted that painful varicose veins might be part of her life indefinitely.  After all, she’d been dealing with the condition in her right leg since her early 30s and had undergone three unsuccessful procedures. Then she heard about Toshio Nagamoto, MD.

“My family physician told me about Dr. Nagamoto and the VNUS Closure procedure,” said Asleson. “As an avid swimmer, runner, coach and physical education teacher, I was very uncomfortable wearing the compression stockings and dealing with pooling blood and bad circulation. I’d never heard of VNUS before.”

Asleson had undergone three previous ligation surgeries — a procedure known as vein stripping where one or more incisions are made (usually in the groin or leg) and a special wire is inserted into the vein to remove it. In each instance, Asleson’s bulging veins reoccurred.

“The recovery from ligation was painful,” she said. “My leg had to be wrapped for weeks and I was on crutches for a while.”

The VNUS closure procedure is minimally invasive, done using a catheter which is inserted into a vein and then radiofrequency to shrink and close it. After sealing the vein shut, blood naturally reroutes to healthy veins. Asleson went for a consultation with Nagamoto in Corvallis and came away eager to undergo the VNUS procedure.

“Dr. Nagamoto is such a great listener,” she said. “He took a lot of time to talk with me and explained everything. And his clinic staff were all so caring, too.”

Asleson had the VNUS procedure right in the clinic, with only local anesthesia. She brought a book and read for the duration of her 45-minute procedure.

“I felt great the next day,” she recalled. The severity of Asleson’s vein condition required a secondin-office procedure, a possibility that Dr. Nagamoto explained to her in their first meeting.

“Elke had very serious reflux (50 percent), meaning that her valves were allowing blood to flow backwards in her leg, when it should be going toward the heart,” said Nagamoto. “Occasionally, we have patients who need a follow-up procedure. Ultimately, we have great success with all cases because wecustomize the treatments carefully and use a critical eye to make sure we find the right solution.”

For Asleson, success has meant getting back to her active lifestyle without the pain and heaviness in her leg that she’d become accustomed to. She’s also pleased with the improved appearance of her leg. “I feel great,” she said. “It’s been two years since my procedure and I’m so happy with the results. Dr. Nagamoto is amazing — I’ve run into people around town who had him as their surgeon for very serious conditions and they rave about him. He fixed my varicose veins and if I ever need major surgery, I want him to be my surgeon!”

VNUS Closure at Samaritan Heart & Vascular Institute

The following surgeons offer VNUS Closure at Samaritan Heart & Vascular Institute. Call for more information.

Toshio Nagamoto, MD
3615 NW Samaritan Drive, Suite 201
Office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday
through Friday

Dana Penner, MD
3615 NW Samaritan Drive, Suite 201
Office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday
through Friday

Mark Anthony Taylor, MD
3600 NW Samaritan Drive, Suite 227
Office hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,
Monday through Friday