Father Of Invention

New Generation Laser Is Gold Standard For Skin Rejuvenation.

Google the name William B. Rife and the first result that pops up is a document detailing his various inventions for dissipating heat from electronic devices. William’s name is associated with multiple patents earned while he was employed by Chip Coolers Inc. of Warwick, Rhode Island.

William B. Rife

“I’m the inventor of about 10 patented products,” William elaborates. “I don’t hold the patents personally; my company does. But I’m the inventor of record for them.”

His inventions have been used primarily to cool computer components. His innovations helped facilitate rapid advancements in computer technology that began in the 1980s.

“As computers expanded, their microprocessors got hotter and hotter, and the only device that was available to cool them had to be glued on,” William discloses. “But the glue eventually hardened, and that slowed further development of the computer.

“I invented a device that is essentially a piece of aluminum that is mounted onto the microprocessor to transfer heat away from it. I also invented various types of clips to snap onto that cooling device, as well as other products that can be screwed onto the microprocessors.”

As time went on, William developed heat-transfer devices for other computer parts that get hot with use, such as motherboards. He attended computer shows around the world, demonstrating his products to other companies and displaying what was available to cool overworked components.

“If a company had a specific need, we could adjust our products to meet that need,” William reports.

During the home computer boom of the 1980s, William was working in the trenches to help make equipment more efficient. He was in tune with the work of the nation’s leaders in computer technology as well.

“Go into any computer store, and the name ‘Dell’ is imprinted on most of the computers,” he notes. “That company (Dell Technologies) was started in 1984 by Michael Dell in Texas.

Being in the business I was aware of little things that were happening in the background of that company’s development, what was going on and where Michael Dell was with things at different times.”

William, now 80, worked for Chip Coolers from 1978 to 2001. He eventually became a minority owner and general manager until the principal owner decided to sell the company.
“He took care of me, and I was able to retire at 60,” William reveals.

An active retiree, William golfs once a week and lifts weights to maintain his strength. Each Wednesday, he also volunteers at a local food pantry, where he unloads trucks, stocks shelves and carries boxes of food to clients’ cars. Thankfully, he’s remained healthy. He did, however, suffer a health scare at the beginning of this year.

“There was a black spot on my right leg,” William describes. “At first, I thought it was just a scab or something. Then I became concerned that it might be cancer. I asked my wife to get me an appointment with her skin doctor.

“Then one day, I was taking off my sock and I hit the spot with my fingernail. It broke open and blood shot out. My wife called an ambulance and they took me to the emergency room. The doctor there said, It’s not cancer. It’s a vein problem. My son-in-law’s neighbor had gone to Premier Vein Centers and recommended Dr. Sharma.”

Seen and Felt

Ravi Sharma, MD, is a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon at Premier Vein Centers in Homosassa and The Villages®. He specializes in the treatment of blood vessel disorders affecting the legs.

During his first visit with William, Dr. Sharma began his evaluation by ordering an ultrasound examination of William’s right leg. The ultrasound showed that a number of William’s deep leg veins were leaking and restricting blood from flowing back toward his heart, a condition called venous insufficiency.

Chronic venous insufficiency has multiple causes.

“Long periods of sitting or standing can cause the blood in leg veins to pool,” Dr. Sharma explains. “This increases the venous blood pressure and weakens the vein walls and valves, thereby damaging the valves. Damaged valves prevent proper blood flow back to the heart.”

“Everything’s great now. Both legs are just fine.”-William

Venous insufficiency has many signs and symptoms. Signs, which can be seen, include bulging varicose veins as well as swelling, thickening and discoloration of the skin of the ankles or legs. Symptoms, which are felt, include throbbing, aching, stinging, burning, itching, nighttime leg cramps and restless legs.

“It is critically important that patients experiencing any of these signs and symptoms have their leg veins assessed,” Dr. Sharma underscores. “Leaving the condition untreated can lead to more serious complications, including leg ulcers, infection and a breakdown of the skin. In William’s case, the problem vein began to bleed externally.”

Dr. Sharma has some advice for people seeking care for any of these signs or symptoms.

“It is crucial that people choose surgeons who specialize in venous diseases and only venous diseases,” he declares. “I recommend staying away from physicians in large practices that offer a variety of services and perform venous treatment as a side service. Vein treatment must be tailored to the individual. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

“In addition, the physicians people choose should be experienced in the advanced procedures available to treat venous diseases. They must also express genuine concern and compassion for their patients. Physicians with these qualifications achieve the best outcomes.”

Minimally Invasive Options

Premier Vein Centers offers a full range of advanced, minimally invasive treatments for patients with venous insufficiency. These options include microphlebectomy, endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), sclerosing injections, VenaSeal and Varithena®.

Microphlebectomy has replaced vein stripping, an outdated, more invasive procedure during which doctors removed the large veins by making big gashes across the leg, often leaving sizable scars.

“With microphlebectomy, the incision is tiny – about the size of the tip of a scalpel – and we can do much more through that small incision,” Dr. Sharma asserts. “And with this procedure, patients end up with tiny marks on the skin or no scars at all.”

EVLA is performed using a sterile laser fiber that is introduced into the incompetent vein through a small puncture in the leg. Laser energy is then delivered through the fiber, painlessly closing the vein in less than an hour, using local anesthesia.

Sclerosing injections are used to treat spider veins, which are small twisted veins that are visible through the skin. Dr. Sharma uses ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (UGS) to guide the injections that gently close the problem vessels.

VenaSeal is a non-thermal closure system that relieves symptoms by delivering small amounts of a specially formulated medical adhesive, or “super glue,” to the diseased vein. This permanently seals the vein. This procedure does not require multiple needle sticks, and in some cases support stockings are not necessary. After treatment, blood that used to flow through the faulty veins is diverted to healthy veins in the leg.

Varithena is a microfoam that is injected into the diseased vein section, treating the vein wall and collapsing the vein. Blood flow is then rerouted to healthy veins.

Premier Vein Centers provides a free initial consultation and accepts most insurance, including Medicare. All advanced treatments offered at Premier Vein Centers are performed in a comfortable office setting and result in little or no downtime and discomfort.

William has returned to his activities,
including golfing, with no worries that his leg vein will bleed again.

“Our patients are often very relieved to discover that there is no general anesthesia involved in our minimally invasive treatments,” Dr. Sharma observes. “And they are happy to learn that they can resume activities right away following the procedure.”

Return to Form

In determining which procedures will work best, Dr. Sharma relies on his expertise and assessment of each patient’s symptoms and health status. To seal William’s leg veins, Dr. Sharma decided that VenaSeal and microphlebectomy would work best.

“After he performed some tests and detected the problems with the veins in my right leg, Dr. Sharma went in and chemically shut down the main vein between my ankle and knee and also above my knee,” William reports. “He totally shut down the vein so there’s no blood in it, then he rerouted the blood to other veins in my leg.

“Later, Dr. Sharma examined my left leg and found some potential problems there as well. Instead of chemically closing those veins, he performed a surgical procedure. He made small cuts and pulled out the main vein in both my thigh and below my knee.”

The treatments Dr. Sharma performed were highly effective in eliminating the signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency that William was experiencing.

“Everything’s great now,” William raves. “There’s no pain or anything; both legs are just fine. I’m thrilled with Dr. Sharma’s procedures and with the results. I’m amazed by how quick the procedures were and how well they worked.

“The spot on my right leg is pretty much gone now. It’s tiny, and it’s not sticking out or dark like it was before. It looks almost like a scar now. And I know there’s no blood in that vein, so I don’t have to worry about that spot bleeding again.”

William gives kudos to Dr. Sharma for his expertise, attitude and approach to his patients.

“My son-in-law’s neighbor had a good experience with Dr. Sharma, and I’m impressed with him as well,” William states. “He took time to sit down with me and explain things. He presented my options and what he recommended as a solution for me. He made me feel confident that everything was going to work out fine, and it did.”

Since receiving the treatments, William has returned to golfing, lifting weights and working at the food pantry with no worries about bleeding from his leg.

“I’m very pleased with the work Dr. Sharma did on my legs because it allows me to do my activities,” William says. “I get kind of tired at the end of the day, but I’m still in pretty good shape.”

© FHCN articles by Patti DiPanfilo. Photos by Jordan Pysz. js
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    • Premier Vein Centers

      Many people inherit vein disorders. The incidence is higher in women than men. In the United States, nearly 50 percent of the adult population suffers from painful and unsightly vein diseases. The most common forms are spider veins and va... Read More

    • Ravi Sharma, MD

      Ravi Sharma, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland at College Park and attended the University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore, before r... Read More