Walking, for Van Chatham, is painful. He suffers from severe varicose veins. "The lower part of my leg stays purple and black and blue all the time and it does hurt,"says Van.
His wife thought his veins looked abnormally bad and she encourage him to go to the doctor. "I guess I am a typical male in that going to the doctor is not my favorite thing, but my wife made me go," says Van.
Dr. Kent Webb, a Trinity Mother Frances Vascular Surgeon found Van's veins weren't working correctly. "Instead of blood emptying out of the leg the blood starts to pool down in the leg which then causes heaviness," says Dr. Webb.
But thanks to new technology, lasers can be used to fix the veins and allow the blood to flow normally. Here's how it works. With an ultrasound Dr. Webb can identify the abnormal vein. Then with a small needle he passes through the vein with a laser fiber.
''The laser fiber then goes up the abnormal vein. Once in the proper position we turn on the laser and pull that laser back slowly which treats it and allows it to close off," says Dr. Webb.
In about an hour Van's veins are working normally again and unlike the old vein stripping therapy's of the past to fix this problem, there is no recovery so Van can walk out of the doctor's office pain free and get right back to life as normal.