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Venous stents get one woman back on her feet

Retirement looks brighter after a vein-clearing procedure ended Pamela Reedy’s pain

There is no such thing as a typical cardiology patient. Each has unique needs and conditions, requiring personal care. Every cardiology patient is on a journey to better health, and for each of them, the journey is personal.

As a law enforcement officer, Pamela Reedy spent much of her day on her feet, but she knew the pain she was experiencing in her legs was more than a side effect of her work. At times, the pain and swelling in both legs was unbearable. A good night’s sleep was impossible.

“I knew my legs were in extreme pain, but I didn’t know the pain had a name,” Reedy says. “I had no idea that the pain was an actual medical condition.”

Putting a Name to the Pain

Reedy’s pain was the result of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a condition that occurs when the valves in the leg veins do not work effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. Instead, the blood leaks backward, which can cause prolonged elevated blood pressure in the veins and blood pooling in the legs, resulting in pain and swelling. At Augusta Health, cardiologist Ken Sternberg, DO, FACC, treats many patients with CVI.

“I learned about Dr. Sternberg and Augusta Health from a coworker who had a similar problem,” Reedy explains, “so I decided to give it a try. From the very first visit, I was very pleased with my care and treatment. Dr. Sternberg listened to me and immediately recognized the problem. He was concerned with me as a person and how the pain and swelling were impacting my life.”

Reedy says Dr. Sternberg provided several treatment options to her and carefully explained each one. “This was all very new to me, but he was very good with his explanations,” she says. “I also researched the options on my own.” She chose to have venous stents surgically placed in both legs, one in her left and three in her right, over two procedures. Reedy says both outpatient surgeries went smoothly.

“Dr. Sternberg and his staff were very professional, but also very personable and genuinely concerned about me,” she adds. “I really appreciate how well they communicated with my primary care physician, too.” Reedy says she never had to relay information to either physician because they established a good rapport, which was important to her.

The Future Is Wide Open

People she talks to about the procedure are surprised to learn that Reedy’s stents were placed in her legs, she says. “We all know about stents in the heart, but people are really surprised to learn I have venous stents in my legs. Very few people know about the possibility.”

Next up for Reedy is retirement, which she will enjoy without painful, swollen legs. “I’m very involved in my church and its activities, so I’m looking forward to that,” she says. “Because I don’t feel any restrictions from the pain and swelling in my legs, the future seems wide open.”

To make an appointment with a cardiologist or schedule a vascular disease screening, call (888) AHC-HLTH, or learn more at augustahealth.com/heart.