Benjamin Van Sickle, Physician Liaison for Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care, doesn’t hesitate when asked about chronic vein disease.
“CVD is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in our country, yet it is one of the least treated,” says Van Sickle. “CVD is diagnosed nearly twice as often as chronic heart disease, but less than 20% of those diagnosed go on to seek treatment.”
The Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care are working hard to correct that problem, by hosting free health fairs to welcome Northwest Indiana residents into their locations and educate them about the disease.
“Many primary care providers, when they see a lower leg ulcer, will diagnose it as peripheral artery disease. But research shows that up to 90% of the time, it’s actually the veins and not the arteries which are the cause of the problem. It’s old research, based on old knowledge,” said Van Sickle.
Education and up-to-date information is key to treating these problems, according to Van Sickle, who claims that longstanding medical theories have recently been proven inaccurate.
“It’s called the ‘Starling Principle.’ It has long been believed that, when a patient would notice swelling in their legs, it was thought that the veins were responsible for roughly 70% of that fluid, and the lymphatic system was responsible for about 20%. Recent research shows that veins actually handle 0% of that excess fluid, so a long-standing medical precept has been discovered to be completely false,” said Van Sickle.
Established in 2009, by Chetan Puranik, M.D, the Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care currently has a total of six physicians on staff and host several of these events each year - roughly twice a year at each of their five clinics located across Northwest Indiana. This is the first such event at the clinic in Crown Point, their newest location.
The health fairs feature free chair massage, free ultrasound to detect vein insufficiencies, and even a Health Jeopardy! game, to educate and engage visitors about their pain control and vein care options. Winners can win swag such as free t-shirts, water bottles, pill containers and tote bags.
Visitors to the health fair can learn about treatment options, including venous ablation, a brief, outpatient procedure which treats problems found during screening. The area is anesthetized, patients are back on their feet immediately after and may return to work the very next day, problem-free. Procedures are covered under most insurance plans, and there are affordable cash options for those with no health coverage.
“Vein disease is not very well known in this area,” says Terri Cannan, Vein and IR Coordinator for the Centers. “Here in Northwest Indiana, we see a lot of people who work jobs where they are on their feet all day, or they are sitting all the time and don’t have a good mix of activity throughout their day. These people may develop symptoms, they have these problems - swelling, pain, etc. - and they just sort of accept it, but they don’t have to.”
Dr Keerthi Prasad, Interventional Radiologist at the Centers, speaking about a procedure known as venous ablation, says that the procedure is quick and virtually painless. “That procedure only takes about 10 minutes and the patient is back up on their feet immediately. It’s pretty remarkable,” said Dr. Prasad. “We’re the largest vein clinic in Northwest Indiana. We have a very efficient process which works very well for our patients.”
Jessica Thiel made the drive out to the Clinic from her home in New Carlisle, with a stop in Valparaiso to pick up her grandmother along the way.
“I have numbness and pain in my legs. I’ve had it for a long time. I have to move constantly, can’t get comfortable,” said Thiel, who has tried other treatment options, and wanted to learn about procedures at the Centers.
“We originally thought it was nerve damage, but that was negative. So now we’re here, and I’m hoping that this will give me some answers. My grandmother here is 82. I’m 26, and she’s in better shape than I am!” said Thiel.
For more information on Centers for Vein Care, voted #1 for vein care in the area, visit the Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care website.
2211 Roosevelt Rd Valparaiso, IN 46383
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