Innovative Care, Remarkable Results

Patient Perspectives Doug Richardson

September 11, 2018

For a Howell man, severe varicose veins are now a thing of the past.

Twenty-one years ago, Doug Richardson underwent a procedure to remove severe varicose veins in both legs, only to watch in disappointment as the bulging, ropey veins reappeared over time. The Howell resident hadn’t thought about pursuing treatment again until he developed an ulcer on his right ankle. Doug made an appointment with his primary care physician, who referred him to Evan Adler, D.P.M., a podiatrist affiliated with Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Dr. Adler treated the wound and, suspecting that the problem was related to Doug’s varicose veins and poor blood circulation, referred him to Lawrence Mueller, M.D., FACS, a vascular surgeon and vein specialist affiliated with Jersey Shore.

The Root Of The Problem

“In the legs, veins have one-way valves that keep blood flowing from the body back toward the heart. When these valves are weakened or damaged, blood may flow backward with gravity and collect in the veins,” Dr. Mueller explains. “When the veins balloon and become visible, they’re called varicose. Treatment isn’t always necessary for varicose veins, but in Doug’s case, his poor blood circulation led to a concerning skin ulcer. Skin ulcers are very difficult to heal unless you fix the cause.” Dr. Mueller performed a comprehensive ultrasound exam of Doug’s legs. Ultrasound provides Dr. Mueller with a detailed picture of his patients’ anatomy and identifies abnormally functioning veins as well as the “feeder” vein that supplies blood to the varicose veins. Ultrasound can also confirm that other deep veins can adequately take over circulation if the varicose veins are removed. On the basis of his observations, Dr. Mueller selects the best treatment for the individual patient, with the goal of optimal results with no pain or scarring.

Sophisticated Techniques

In February 2017, Dr. Mueller removed Doug’s varicose veins through a series of 1⁄8 -inch incisions. He used a tiny hook to dislodge the veins and sealed the feeder vein with heat to prevent Doug’s varicose veins from returning. “After surgery, I said to Dr. Mueller, ‘I don’t feel any pain — did you really do something?’” Doug says. “He told me it was all over, and I said, ‘That’s like magic,’ because the absence of pain seemed illogical.”

Not only was the surgery painless, it left no scars. “I had legs like this only when I was a teenager,” says Doug, now 61. “I’m proof Dr. Mueller really is a miracle worker.”

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