MADISON, AL (WAFF) - Hollie Billions said she recently started having leg problems.
"My legs would ache really bad at night… but I thought it was normal," she said.
In reality, she had vein reflux, and it only got worse so she decided to go to a specialist.
"The main reason why is I was pregnant and I had these huge veins on the back of my knee that looked like I got hit by a softball," added Billions.
The long recognized procedure for her problem was invasive and painful, according to specialist Dr. Fred Stucky.
"Historically, what that has involved is an invasive surgical procedure that's required general or spinal anesthesia vein stripping is what I'm referring to," he said.
But he said newer procedures mean less discomfort and recovery time. In Billions' case, radio frequency ablation was performed involving local anesthesia and a catheter. They usually do this one leg at a time and in this case her right leg.
"Once it was done, they wrapped up my leg, from my toes to my groin, with gauze and ace bandage and I went grocery shopping afterwards," Billions said.
This is the type of procedure being done by the new Vein Center at Madison Hospital.
The new center is opening new doors for people who live in this community and they don't have to travel to get their needs met.
Stucky, a vascular surgeon, cites some typical symptoms which cause patients to seek relief.
"Feelings of heaviness or fullness in the legs during a long work day, even if they're on their feet a lot, uh, big bulging varicose veins. They're something we see very frequently discoloration of the leg," he said.
Stucky said some patients have big ulcers requiring wound care for long periods of time.
As for Billions, she said after the first procedure she could tell a big difference.
"My left leg started swelling my left foot. And I could tell, even in a wrap, that my right foot did not feel that heavy or full or hot or swelling," she said.
Billions was obviously relieved when the procedure was completed on the other leg, so she could go back to being a healthy new mom.