Screening for Vein Disease



Screening for Vein Disease

Beneath the Surface

Do you know what happens at a vein screening? Kam Carman gets the details from Vein Specialist and Board Certified General Surgeon, Dr. Drew Georgeson. Know what to expect when you start your journey to healthy legs.

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Kam Carman: I'm here now with Dr. Georgeson from Allure Medical. Thank you so much for being with us, good to see you again.

Dr. Georgeson: Good to see you.

Kam Carman: So, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. Georgeson: Well, I am a Board Certified Surgeon. I've been practicing going on almost 30 years now, and I've been with Allure Medical for about 10 years.

Kam Carman: Tell us about the vein screening.

Dr. Georgeson: It's our first interaction with the patient when they come into the door. Many people really don't know what's going on with their legs. They're not sure whether they actually qualify or can get treatment. So, we're there to help the patient understand what's going on and that screening is simply an evaluation.

Kam Carman: And how long does the screening actually take?

Dr. Georgeson: It's actually pretty quick, 10 to 15 minutes at the most.

Kam Carman: And who does the screening?

Dr. Georgeson: One of our accredited physicians, nurse practitioners or physician's assistants.

Kam Carman: And what are you looking for exactly when the screening does take place?

Dr. Georgeson: So, the first thing we do is try to identify any risk factors, for instance, is there something in their history that would mean that they're a higher risk for developing vein disease? Establishing what their main complaint, how long it's been going on, have they had prior treatment? Then the physical examination takes place where we look at the front, the back of the legs, evaluate the circulation, and then make a decision on how to proceed next.

Kam Carman: And then do the patients see a physician right away?

Dr. Georgeson: They will see a physician during the course of that initial evaluation, yes. The physician will come in and talk to them about the results of their examination and what the treatment plan is.

Kam Carman: What happens if you see something during that screening, what do you look for?

Dr. Georgeson: If we find any abnormalities in their examination, we look into it deeper using an ultrasound. We call it a vein mapping. That ultrasound is la roadmap to all the veins in their legs and what we're looking specifically for is blood flow that is abnormal in those veins that contribute to those symptoms.

Kam Carman: Is the ultrasound and the vein mapping all part of the initial consultation and is it free to patients?

Dr. Georgeson: The screening part of it, determining whether a patient is a candidate for treatment, is free. We encourage all people to come on in. We're there to help them understand whether they have the possibility of venous disease. Once they do the ultrasound, that then gets billed and authorized by their insurance.

Kam Carman: Take us through the game plan now. What is the plan after the screening and the ultrasound, then what?

Dr. Georgeson: So then we review the ultrasound and compare it to what their physical findings are and put them in a specific classification of how advanced their vein disease is. It's really interesting to see how patients are relieved by knowing, "Hey, now I have an explanation of what's going on, this makes sense." And then we talk about the treatment plan, which could take anywhere from four to six weeks of outpatient treatment. We do it right in our office and make it very convenient for them.

Kam Carman: It's so advanced these days.

Dr. Georgeson: It is. Considering just 20 years ago the only treatment was vein stripping and a lot of people just shudder when they hear about vein stripping because it required hospitalization, general anesthesia, a three to four-hour procedure, blood loss, nerve injury. Now we can get involved really early on in the course of their problems and intercept that right away so that they don't have to wait until the end of the disease process.

Kam Carman: That's great information. Thank you, Dr. Georgeson for joining us, appreciate it.

Dr. Georgeson: My pleasure. Thank you.