Misdiagnosis and Mismanagement Two Common Problems

Olympic Gold Medalist Summer Sanders campaigns to “Rethink Varicose Veins”


Varicose veins are often thought of as only a cosmetic problem, not true. Unfortunately, problems with the venous system are not readily diagnosed and even when they are, treatments vary considerably which produces limited results. Many times patients are incorrectly diagnosed and treated for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Sometimes patients with venous leg ulcers are managed exclusively in wound care centers with a failure to also address the underlying pathology.

Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders’ legs began feeling tired and achy after her second pregnancy. She’d catch herself massaging her calves whenever she was sitting down. Initially, she assumed it was just a sign of getting older — no big deal.

Recently Sanders spoke to The Stir in an exclusive interview online about her misunderstanding of venous issues.>

“So many of my friends are just dealing with it, and you would never just deal with a toothache! You know it leads to something worse down the road. 30 million [people, predominantly women] are just dealing with it, and less than 10 percent are seeking treatment. … I say to people all the time, you don’t want to live at 80 percent!”

When veins are prominent and a venous problem is obvious, patients may find themselves in vein treatment centers that exclusively provide cosmetic procedures. Although the procedures may produce great looking legs, the underlying problem is left untreated.

Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, D.O., cardiovascular surgeon and founder of Vein Specialists of Arizona states that misdiagnosed venous disease can lead to serious health issues.

“When associated venous disease symptoms remain after cosmetic procedures,” Dr. Alpern explains, “it is just a matter of time before untreated venous disease progresses in severity. I founded VSA with the specific goal to treat venous disease as the serious issue that it is.”

Dr. Alpern adds, “Even when venous disease is accurately detected and managed by vein treatment specialists, there is a wide variation in procedures used. Painful, more expensive, outdated vein stripping and even the SEPS procedure put patients at greater risk for complications as well as a long, difficult recovery.”

The answer for these patients is all about accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment through the least invasive, quick and relatively painless procedures available at Vein Specialists of Arizona’s state-of-the-art vein treatment in the office.   Dr. Alpern believes that the radio frequency and laser ablation and treatments are the best solution for venous problems.  

“I have found the revolutionary radio frequency and laser ablation technique in a quick, simple office procedure allows the patient to remain awake and comfortable, recover quickly, Dr. Alpern said. “It achieves a 96% success rate with virtually no complications. These non-traumatic technique eliminates diseased valves through a simple needle stick.”

Only a handful of vein specialists throughout the United States are experts in the use of these streamlined laser ablation and radio frequency techniques. Patients with varicose veins, spider veins, chronic venous insufficiency and serious leg ulcers have their existing problem completely eliminated through these state-of-the-art methods.   To determine if you have more serious issues with your aching, heavy, restless legs, start with a full leg vein exam available at Vein Specialists of Arizona. Your questions will be answered during your vein screening consultation.


Vein Specialists of Arizona (VSA) is a state-of-the-art vein center that defines a new standard in care for the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, leg ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency. From vein treatments that correct existing underlying pathology to procedures that erase spider veins before the patient’s eyes, we think you will find VSA to be your best choice for venous issues.  Your compassionate, effective, safe, affordable and convenient vein treatment at VSA begins with an ultrasound screening exam. Please visit website, http://VeinsAZ.com or call 623-428-0068.



Dr. Jeffrey Alpern is a Cardiovascular Surgeon who was the first D.O. to perform a heart and heart/lung transplant in the world. Among his other impressive qualifications, Dr. Alpern trained at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic and was Surgical Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at both Temple University and Hahnemann University Hospitals in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He currently is Director and founding member of Desert Cardiovascular Surgeons in Phoenix, and of Vein Specialists of Arizona recently located in the West Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, D.O is one of a handful of surgeons worldwide to use fast, virtually painless, safe and effective laser ablation and radiofrequency (RF) techniques for the treatment of existing varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and venous leg ulcers.