Tricia Fisher: Vascular Surgery

“I could hardly believe it could be that fast and easy to end my pain and get back to my regular activity, but I decided to go for it.”

Twenty-four-year-old Tricia Fisher is a runner who prefers the outdoors to a gym. She works nights as an RN and used to enjoy a good run in the morning after work. But she began experiencing pain and heaviness in her legs, caused by varicose veins that first appeared when she was a junior in high school.

“After standing all day at work, all I could think about was putting my feet up and relaxing,” Tricia said. “The last thing I felt like doing was going out for a run.” When she did gather the energy to go running, her pain would increase. So Tricia resorted to using an elliptical machine at the gym. “The lower impact of an elliptical was much easier on my legs, but I really missed my outdoor runs,” she said. “It was starting to get depressing.” 

Tricia feared the possibility of surgery, so she put up with the pain for over a year. During that time, she tried wearing surgical stockings to lessen the pressure in her legs, but she found little relief. Her leg pain was also making it difficult to sleep.

Finally, Tricia decided to speak with vascular surgeon Paul Corcoran, MD, whom she knew of from her work at the hospital. Dr. Corcoran explained that he could help her with an outpatient procedure called radiofrequency ablation, or RFA. “In simple terms, RFA uses a laser to close the damaged veins,” Tricia said. “I could hardly believe it could be that fast and easy to end my pain and get back to my regular activity, but I decided to go for it.”

Still, Tricia was nervous, “especially because I am so young and most of Dr. Corcoran’s patients were quite a bit older,” she said. “Dr. Corcoran and his entire staff made me feel at ease, though. They were very professional and caring, and they took time to explain everything, so I knew just what to expect. I never had to wait for an appointment, and the staff was willing to work around my schedule.”

During the RFA procedure, Tricia said, “There was a little burning or tingling sensation, but it wasn’t as bad as the pain I had been experiencing before. I could feel a positive difference immediately afterward, and within two weeks, I was running again.”

Tricia said she would recommend RFA to anyone who is experiencing leg pain and heaviness and is a candidate for the procedure. “It is amazing how it works,” she said. “I have so much more energy and stamina now, and I’m running outside again.”

Severe chest pain is not always present with a heart attack, especially for older adults, people with diabetes and women. They may experience sudden shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness, fatigue or weakness. Don’t take a chance. Call 9-1-1.