His Prayers Were Answered

Vein closure techniques alleviate excruciating leg pain and ulcers.

With the ulcers on his legs now healed, Eddie is back to his activities without pain.

Though he was trained and worked for years as an electrician, Eddie Moore has put his mechanical know-how to work as an inventor as well. Automobile safety is where his innovative mind often turned.

“I invented a plate that goes on the wheel of a car and keeps the brake calipers from overheating,” divulges Eddie, 64. “Overheated calipers are a big reason brakes fail.”

Eddie also invented a removable hood ornament to thwart would-be vandals. He designed it for his customized 1999 Dodge Durango, which sported a scorpion decoration.

“Thieves were always ripping that scorpion off my hood,” Eddie relates. “I invented one that can be removed and put back on, so thieves cannot vandalize my car anymore.”

Around the time his Durango was coming off the assembly line, Eddie suffered a severe knee injury that resulted in the removal of his kneecap – and disability. Doctors prescribed medication for his pain, but Eddie couldn’t tolerate the medications.

“Through the course of my treatment, I kept having reactions to every drug they gave me,” Eddie recalls. “That included medications for cholesterol, diabetes, anxiety and depression, as well as the pain medicine.

“That’s how I found out I have sickle cell disease and am allergic to every medication there is. My situation was complicated because there’s really no good treatment for sickle cell, and none of the doctors in Naples, where I live, knew anything about it. So I just suffered.”

Making matters worse, painful ulcers began to form on Eddie’s legs – fast. From two in 2019 to 17 (10 on one leg) in 2020.

“I couldn’t walk for 13 years,” he laments.

By early 2021, Eddie’s situation became unbearable.

“The ulcers were excruciatingly painful,” Eddie laments. “I’ve been shot, stabbed, blown up and electrocuted, but none of that was as painful as those ulcers. The pain was a good eight or nine on a scale of one to 10. One night, my feet were so swollen and the pain so bad I couldn’t sleep. I thought my world was over, and I was crying out to God for help.”

Then a commercial came on TV that caught his eye.

“It was about Dr. Joyce, and it said he was a vein specialist and treated ulcers. It showed a leg full of ulcers, and it looked just like mine, so I called Dr. Joyce and made an appointment.”

Douglas H. Joyce, DO, is a board-certified vascular surgeon at Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute in Punta Gorda. Dr. Joyce specializes in treating nonhealing wounds at The Ulcer Center at JVAI.

“When Eddie came to us, he was in such extreme pain that he couldn’t even sleep at night,” Dr. Joyce reports. “He also has sickle cell disease, diabetes and several other health problems, which made his case more complex.

“We evaluated Eddie’s legs with ultrasound and discovered there were multiple veins that weren’t functioning correctly. We took him to surgery and over a period of several months fixed all his problem veins.”

Ablation Techniques

There are two vein systems in the legs: the high-pressure central vein system deep in the muscles and the low-pressure superficial vein system just below the skin. The superficial system drains into the central system through perforator veins.

Leg veins contain one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward and pooling. If these valves are weakened or damaged, blood refluxes into the veins instead of flowing up toward the heart, a condition called venous insufficiency. As a result, the affected veins leak and blood collects in the legs, causing swelling and discomfort.

“We begin treatment of venous insufficiency by sealing the leaking superficial veins, such as the great saphenous vein and small saphenous vein, using a standard laser ablation closure technique,” Dr. Joyce details. “During this procedure, we slide a laser fiber along the length of the vein and use laser energy to seal the entire vein.”

“All of the open wounds on my legs are now completely closed.” – Eddie

Dr. Joyce reports that nearly all patients who come to his practice with ulcer disease have incompetent perforator veins. The staff at Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute is trained and equipped to diagnose and treat these veins to achieve positive patient outcomes.

“To seal incompetent perforator veins, we utilize our own technique called single-needle laser ablation,” Dr. Joyce discloses. “First, we numb the skin. Then, we take a specifically designed needle and, using ultrasound guidance, place it through the skin into the perforator vein. We apply a little anesthetic then turn on the laser for 15 to 20 seconds, which spot-welds the area of vein being treated.”

The laser used in the two ablation techniques is the same, but single-needle ablation spot-welds specific areas of the vein while standard ablation creates a long weld along the length of the vein. Single-needle ablation is an extremely precise method of controlling the laser.

Dr. Joyce used both techniques with Eddie.

“There’s Zero Pain”

“Dr. Joyce told me I had venous insufficiency, which basically means that my leg veins were broken down,” Eddie relates. “I’m an electrician and telephone technician. I know about wiring, and I had some bad wires in my legs that needed to be repaired. That’s how I looked at it.

Dr. Joyce actually cauterized my bad veins. I didn’t think about what he was doing while he was doing it, but I knew it was going to help alleviate my pain.”

The treatments sealed his incompetent veins, began the healing process of his leg ulcers and eased his painful symptoms in such a way that brought Eddie to tears.

“Eddie had a tremendous result,” Dr. Joyce observes.

Now, Eddie can sleep through the night again.

“Dr. Joyce closed all of my bad veins so they wouldn’t cause more damage and my legs stopped hurting,” Eddie enthuses. “I don’t feel that crippling pain. My legs are a lot better and they’re healing well. All of the open wounds on my legs are now completely closed.

“There’s some scar tissue on my legs that needs more time to heal, but Dr. Joyce gave me something called Bag Balm that actually works. It helps fade the scar tissue. The scars were really dark, and they’re lightening up.”

Before Eddie injured his knee, he was an active martial artist. He was beginning to teach his son the craft when the knee injury occured. Now that he has his legs back, Eddie plans to pick up where he left off.

“Now that I’m better, I’m going to teach martial arts to my son,” he confirms. “I’ve already got all the equipment. My legs are stronger now. I’m exercising more, walking and moving around. I’m having a good time now. But I pay good attention to my legs. When they get tired, they let me know. They tell me, That’s enough, and I listen.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Before and after images courtesy of Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute. mkb


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