Michael Rids Himself of Pain and Fatigue
With Advanced Varicose Vein Procedure


Advanced Varicose Vein Procedures

By the time Michael T. reached the age of 69, he had been managing a variety of symptoms related to varicose veins for nearly 20 years. These symptoms, which initially began as an unsightly irritant had since turned into pain and fatigue that affected his job. Hesitant about surgery and downtime often associated with it, he pushed through—until he heard about Dr. Michael Shao and the leading-edge treatment options available at Swedish Hospital. 

For Michael, varicose veins were genetic. He had seen his mother suffer from the condition for years, and had witnessed some of the possible side effects of early treatment, including a lengthy recovery time and scarring. He held off as long as he could, but after having to take pain relieving medication two to three times a week just to stay on his feet, he knew he had to look for other options. 

He visited vein clinics, but never went back. He found the treatment they offered little better than what his mother had received, and he wasn’t ready to commit to a treatment option that would get in the way of his work as a boat salesman, which had him on his feet—often on the water—for many hours a day.

Even during this time, he remained active, exercising four to five times a week at Galter LifeCenter, Chicago’s only certified fitness centered, located on the campus of Swedish Hospital. There, he heard of Dr. Michael Shao and his expertise in minimally invasive vascular surgery for the treatment of varicose veins. He scheduled a consultation. 

“What Dr. Shao talked about was simple, easy and painless,” said Michael. “The technology that he offers is much more advanced than I thought possible. The thing I liked about it was there was no down time. He told me I could go back to my regular routine that same afternoon.”

Because of the severity of his conditions and his desire to take care of the annoying problem once and for all, Dr. Shao and Michael agreed to treat the condition with both radiofrequency ablation and Varithena, a new FDA-approved treatment made available just this past year. The combination allowed Dr. Shao to restore blood flow and remove the spidery veins that Michael had found unsightly for so long. His symptoms vanished, and the cosmetic appearance of his legs improved. 

“Dr. Shao is great to work with,” said Michael. “He gives you his cell number and tells you to text him if you have any questions even after he explains things so simply. After 20 years with this condition, it’s a whole different feeling every time I walk.”

In addition to experiencing a pain-free workday and allowing him to continue with his hobby of landscape photography, the completion of the procedures has not interrupted his time participating in a variety of Galter LifeCenter classes or upset his golf game. Both of which are equally important to him.

“I love Galter LifeCenter,” said Michael. “I like the fact that it’s the first certified medical fitness center in the state. And they have a great selection of classes and the instructors and trainers are unparalleled. You won’t find a bad one among them.”

Michael Shao, M.D., is a board-certified vascular surgeon with Endeavor Health Medical Group. His specialties include vascular surgery and wound care. 

To learn more about the Vascular Services offered at Swedish Hospital, please call

By David Modica | Published December 1, 2016

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