Venous Stenting
in Traverse City & Cadillac, MI

Venous Stenting

While most venous disease is due to reflux or nonfunctioning valves in the veins of the legs, venous obstruction can also cause venous disorders. If you think of your veins as hoses taking blood from your legs back to the heart, an obstruction of those veins would be like kinking or pinching off the hose.

What Causes Venous Stenting?

This stenosis or obstruction in veins causes pressure to build up upstream, which for the veins, is in the legs. The increased venous pressure leads to leg swelling, edema, heaviness, leg fatigue, varicose veins and venous ulceration. This narrowing of the veins typically occurs in the pelvis where the iliac arteries cross the veins. Classically, this has been described as May-Thurner syndrome where the left iliac vein is compressed by the right iliac artery but the veins can be compressed by the arteries at other locations as well. The arteries are under pressure and are therefore much stiffer. This causes the vein to become compressed between the artery which crosses over top and the spine which lies under the vein.

How Can Obstructed Veins Be Treated?

Venous obstruction can also be caused by prior DVT (deep vein thrombosis). In the past the only options for treating these venous obstructions required an open surgery to bypass the obstructed vein. Now venous obstructions can be treated with angioplasty and

stenting. A catheter is inserted into the vein under ultrasound guidance. The doctor can then insert a tiny ultrasound into the vein to find and diagnose venous obstructions. This Intravenous Ultrasound or IVUS is the best way to detect venous stenosis and it helps guide treatment options. If significant venous narrowing or stenosis is found the doctor can do angioplasty to stretch the vein back open. After the vein is stretched open, a stent is placed. A stent is a braided metal tube which acts as a scaffold to keep the vein open.

Why Choose Northern Michigan Vein Associates?

Dr. Heeringa is the first physician in Northern Michigan to offer IVUS and venous stenting for both post thrombotic and non thrombotic iliac vein lesions such as May-Thurner syndrome.

Dr Heeringa put two stents in each of my legs to improve the blood flow.  I am thrilled with the results!  My legs are no longer heavy, they have stopped itching and the swelling is gone.  The swelling has gone down so much that I can now se my ankles and my feet look better than they have in years!  The feeling has been restored to my feet and it is even easier to get up from my chair.Anyone considering this procedure, I encourage you to have it done and be as happy as I am. Thank you Dr. Heeringa!                                                                -Deb




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