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PETERSBURG, VA – According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, almost 40% of Americans suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). And what many people don’t realize is that it can be treated. Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) offers a specialized procedure called peripheral venous stenting that can help.

Most common in individuals over the age of 50 and women who have experienced multiple pregnancies, CVI occurs when veins in the legs have difficulty sending blood back to the heart. Blood then pools in the legs, raising pressure in the veins and causing a variety of problems.

“Symptoms of CVI include heaviness, pain, swelling and discoloration of the legs,” explains Saquib Samee, MD, FACC, RPVI. “Veins that have lost their valve effectiveness become elongated, rope-like, bulged and thickened. In more severe cases of CVI, poor circulation can lead to painful ulcers on the legs and feet.”

CVI is often treated with compression stockings, elevation and weight loss. Skin ointments and pain medication can also provide some relief from symptoms. In individuals with substantial compression or blockages in their veins, however, these treatments may not be enough.

During peripheral venous stenting an ultrasound catheter is inserted into the vein through a small incision in the leg. Using imaging from the intravascular ultrasound, the physician places a stent, a mesh-like expandable metal tube, at the point where the vein is compressed or obstructed. The stent opens up the vein, allowing blood to flow normally again.

Dr. Samee, an interventional cardiologist and vascular specialist, performs this specialized procedure in the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab at SRMC’s Center for Heart and Vascular Care. “We have patients coming from as far away as Maryland and West Virginia to seek this treatment,” says Dr. Samee. “Patients tell me that they feel symptomatic relief immediately, and their ulcers are healed within weeks.”

In addition to peripheral venous stenting, the cardiac cath lab at the Center for Heart and Vascular Care offers a multitude of services and procedures, including peripheral vascular studies, pacemaker insertions, implantable cardiac defibrillator insertions, heart catheterization and interventions, and emergency heart attack care. SRMC follows the American College of Cardiology’s standards of a 90 minute door-to-balloon time, meaning that heart attack patients are being treated in the cath lab within 90 minutes of arrival in the emergency department. For individuals needing more intensive care, SRMC’s open heart surgery team is available 24 hours per day.  

Talk to your physician if you are experiencing the symptoms of CVI. To make an appointment with Dr. Samee, call the Varicose Vein & Vascular Clinic at 804.621.7262 (Colonial Heights) or 434.336.1900 (Emporia). For more information on the comprehensive services offered at the Center for Heart and Vascular Care at Southside Regional Medical Center, visit

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