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Lovely Westfield Woman’s Club

It’s been such a long, dreary, cold winter. In western Massachusetts, April can be especially more sad and bleak when the Nor’easter persists across our towns and dumps snow and icy rain with spite. So it was with great pleasure and anticipation one sunny afternoon last week that I drove to Westfield to give a talk on vein conditions and treatments. A very lovely woman named Mary Ellen Anderson from the Westfield Woman’s Club had invited me to address their members at their monthly lunch meeting.

As Melinda and I drove up to the turn-of-the-century, stately red-brick building, my first thought was what a wonderful thing a “Woman’s Club” is. In today’s crazy, busy society where most people think only of the “next thing I gotta do,” it’s so nice to meet a group of women who gather regularly to think of citizenship, charity and community. More than anything, it was a gathering of well-accomplished women to just spend time with one another, “hanging out.” They ate, drank, smiled and talked about their kids and family, and gave ear and time to one another’s life experiences, struggles and laughter. Being a surgeon who spends 10+ hours a day in fluorescent-lit exam rooms and O.R.’s, finding myself in a room full of sunshine and happy women was just a sheer delight.

After Mary Ellen introduced me to about 30 women, I took the microphone in my hand and channeled my inner Phil Donahue. I paced the dining room back and forth in my carefully chosen black suit, enlisting questions and answering them as engagingly as I could. All about the veins. Leg pain. Leg swelling. Varicose veins. Very pleasant exchanges. Light-hearted conversation at times. Then a woman in a blue sweater asked me a question about blood clots. Apparently she knows of “someone” who had to be on Coumadin for 6 months and “just got off.” For no apparent reason. Did she have preceding surgery? No. Trauma or injury? No. Sick with an illness or cancer? No. Bed-ridden? No. Anyone else in family with blood clots? Yes, her son keeps getting phlebitis.

I zero-in like a jet pilot on her. I’m a clinician again. I tell her, your friend has what’s called an “unprovoked DVT” (deep vein thrombosis). In such a case, it’s so important to make sure that she and her physician talk about the possibility of an underlying condition that predisposes her to a heightened risk of blood clots. It’s a condition called primary hypercoagulability, or thrombophilia. Many causes can be responsible for this, including many factors that are hereditary. If you have unexplained DVT because of an underlying hypercoagulability that is genetically transmitted, your children and their children might have the same condition.

As I tell them this, their eyes widen. They are women. They are used to laughing off their own physical ailments. But they get very serious about the health of their children and their grandchildren. If you have unexplained DVT, I tell them, you’ve got to talk to your physician about getting tested for primary hypercoagulability. The result just might save your children from early heart attack, early stroke, repeat DVT’s or blood clots to the lungs—and even possible early death. About one in 20 white Americans have a particular type of genetic mutation that causes 4-8 fold increase in blood clots. That means, out of about 30 women sitting before me, one or two of them statistically have this condition.

It’s all very precarious and fragile. One tiny molecular mutation in one clotting factor gene can cause someone to lose their beloved at an early age. We have an uncle who started to have heart attacks at age 50. He died too young of congestive heart failure. We miss him every day. So much in life can be altered by such a small thing when it’s missed by not knowing. I once witnessed a 17 year old girl who dropped dead due to blood clots to her lungs. Being a parent of 20-something children, I think of that girl’s parents from time to time.

Driving back to the office, I find that the bright sunny weather has turned cold and windy with rain clouds gathering over my head. My mood turns gray. New England in April. It is…Yes, precarious. It can be so harsh to those of us who are just craving for some brightness, for some warmth. The only thing that keeps us going ‘til June is just little bits of sun shine here and there. Like the excitement and anticipation of meeting those women at noon. Today was a good day. I got to visit the lovely Westfield Woman’s Club.

By |April 29th, 2014|What's New from Dr. Lee|

The Importance of Seeing a Vein Specialist

Vein specialists are striving to develop newer and more effective techniques for treating varicose and spider veins. They are also devoted to discovering safer and more advanced methods of treating vein diseases.

Vein specialists have become much more popular and credible in recent years. The importance of seeing a vein specialist is also much more realized and understood than ever before. Patients suffering from varicose veins, spider veins or any type of vein disease used to have little recourse in seeking treatment aside from undergoing vascular surgery. As technologies and techniques have advanced, the options have grown and become much safer than they used to be.

Suffering with vein problems is no longer necessary, and varicose and spider veins are not as life threatening as they once were. Vein specialists are now able to offer safe and efficient treatment options to their patients. These treatments take less time and require less recovery time after undergoing a procedure.

What do Vein Specialists Do?

A vein specialist is an expert in the field of phlebology. This medical specialty employs the use of advanced techniques and technologies to treat varicose veins and spider veins. It is also the medical practice focused on treating vein diseases.

Relatively new to recognition as being trained in a medical specialty field, vein specialists employ the use of several techniques to treat their patients. These techniques may include one or more of the following:

  • Sclerotherapy: The injection of medication into problem veins, which causes them to collapse and be absorbed into the body
  • ELA (Endovenous Laser Ablation): The use of a vascular laser to destroy blood vessels while avoiding damage to surrounding skin
  • Phlebectomy: The surgical removal of problem veins

Why See a Vein Specialist

Vein problems that are left untreated can be painful and life threatening if ignored for too long. The importance of seeing a vein specialist is evident when otherwise unnecessary risks and consequences are considered.

The risks involved in vein problems stem from insufficient blood flow. If the veins are not functioning correctly, they can become congested and enlarged. A varicose vein is often very large and distended. A spider vein is often smaller and located closer to the surface of the skin.

The consequences for avoiding problem vein treatment result in many different and painful symptoms. These may include any of the following:

  • Restlessness in the legs
  • Heaviness in the legs
  • Fatigue in the legs
  • Aching legs
  • Burning legs
  • Itching legs
  • Cramping legs
  • Throbbing in the legs

Vein problems that begin in the legs and are left untreated can affect other areas of the body as well. Varicose veins are a condition that adversely affects blood flow to the rest of the body. When blood flow becomes a problem in other areas throughout the body, the ramifications may include circulation problems, heart dysfunction and possibly death.

Vein specialists are striving to develop newer and more effective techniques for treating varicose and spider veins. They are also devoted to discovering safer and more advanced methods of treating vein diseases.

As vein specialists become more recognized in their medical field, they are able to establish more credibility. This is allowing them to prove the importance of seeing a vein specialist.

If you already suffer from varicose veins, spider veins or any type of vein disease, it is very important that you seek medical help from a vein specialist. Existing vein problems may mean that your health is already at risk. The longer your condition is left untreated, the more of a threat it becomes to your overall health and well being.

By |April 9th, 2014|What's New|

I am pleased with the clinical result.

Veins are removed – swelling and pain is gone in left leg. Right leg is still a little varicose after laser. Yes, I am pleased with the clinical result. So far, so good. Dr. Lee was great – very comfortable procedure – pretty laid back – and that’s good – and reassuring. The surgical physician assistant’s been great. I had a similar phlebectomy a few years back, and this one went so much smoother. Recovery was quick and the procedure was very smooth. The nurse was fine. Everything’s been very professional and courteous here. Thumbs up. In all honesty, the best wait times (minimal) I have experienced. Yes, most definitely, I would recommend this practice.
—Glenn from Stockbridge, MA

By |February 27th, 2014|Testimonials|

My legs each feel much better than before!

My legs each feel much better than before. I am pleased. Dr. Lee was great to talk to, he listens, you can tell he cares. The surgical physician assistant is so sweet, easy to talk to. Everyone I came in contact in Dr. Lee’s office are all very pleasant. Scheduling was very easy, worked well with my crazy schedule. You don’t wait long, everything flows very smoothly. I will be recommending this practice. I have a sister that I know should come in.
—Teresa from West Springfield, MA

By |February 27th, 2014|Testimonials|

Wonderful. My legs are clear.

Wonderful. I have no varicose veins showing. My legs are clear. No pain – easy with Dr. Lee.   The surgical physician assistant was wonderful, I felt she really was interested in me and my results. This made me feel at ease. My experience with the nurse was very nice, and the staff were great and very helpful appointments. I would recommend AVCC to my family and friends!

— N. C. from Longmeadow, MA

By |February 16th, 2014|Testimonials|

Contact Us

Advanced Vein Care is happy to provide more information. Call our Springfield, MA office at (413) 732-4242 or fill out the form below.



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2018 LEEF iGala

  • October 31st, 2018

We are proud to support the Longmeadow Educational Excellence Foundation and hope to see you at their 2018 LEEF iGala on November 3!

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Our Testimonials

Suzanne from Middlefield, MA   

I can wear skirts now, and I am pain free. More attention should be paid to making sure the patient has the correct stockings. Also, I feel that more medication should be suggested for phlebectomy.

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