“I would come home and cry at the end of the day,” shares Coral Fairress, 44. Over the course of seven years, throbbing leg pain left Coral exhausted and nearly unable to move after standing for eight hours or longer working as a bartender. Although a specialist in Oklahoma City discovered five blood clots in her leg, the cause remained uncertain and was thought to be the result of taking birth control after the age of 35. However, the pain continued and Coral felt that wasn’t the answer to her problems with her leg pain and blood clots. Coral’s primary health care provider, Utica Park Clinic nurse practitioner Deborah Dixon, APRN-CNP, referred Coral to Oklahoma Heart Institute vein specialist Dr. Eugene Ichinose. “She got me right in and told me to stay off my feet until I could see Dr. Ichinose.” Within a month, she says Dr. Ichinose had the answer she was looking for.
“He diagnosed me the day I was there,” Coral recalls. “He was absolutely right.”
A main artery appeared to be compressing a vein in her leg, causing the blood clots and worsening pain. Dr. Ichinose recommended a stent to help relieve the pressure on the vein. “That helped tremendously,” Coral says. However, time had taken its toll. Several years left untreated, the damaged veins still caused Coral some pain. Dr. Ichinose prescribed compression socks for daily wear over the course of three months. The pain was better managed, but upon Coral’s follow-up visit to the clinic, Dr. Ichinose thought another procedure was needed to help reduce the risk of any more blood clots forming.
A second procedure, radiofrequency ablation of the great saphenous vein, helped to reduce the venous reflux in her affected leg. Coral wore compression socks again for three months and says that is when she realized the pain in her legs had finally been resolved. Working a regular eight-hour shift, Coral says she would come home feeling no pain at all. On the nights she works a double shift – nearly 17 hours of standing – she makes sure to reach for her compression socks.
Coral says she is back to living a healthy, active lifestyle now, without the threat of pain keeping her from her job or doing what she loves. “I have been cured,” she adds.
Dr. Eugene Ichinose, Dr. Robert Smith and Dr. Stanley K. Zimmerman lead the Oklahoma Heart Institute Center for the Treatment of Venous Disease, treating patients with peripheral venous disease including varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis and venous insufficiency. To schedule an appointment, please call 918-592-0999 or click here.