September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month


September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month and Dr. Polly Kokinos at South Bay Vascular Center & Vein Institute is sharing critical limb- and life-saving information about this chronic vascular disease.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. According to the CardioVascular Coalition, PAD affects nearly 20 million Americans, and an estimated 200,000 of them – disproportionately from minority communities – suffer avoidable amputations every year.

Although estimates suggest that anywhere from 12 to 20 percent of individuals over the age of 60 are living with PAD, many Americans have not even heard of the disease. Symptoms include leg pain while walking, numbness in the toes, wounds on the toes or feet, and gangrene. Individuals with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or a history of smoking are at tremendous risk for PAD.

Experience Counts When It Comes To Your Health


Dr. Polyxene (Polly) Kokinos, a board-certified Vascular and General Surgeon with over 25 years of experience, is recognized as one of the region’s foremost authorities in the diagnosis and treatment of PAD. Dr. Kokinos has dedicated her entire career to serving the South Bay community as an independent physician. She founded the nationally accredited South Bay Vascular Center & Vein Institute and specifically designed the state-of-the-art facility in Campbell, California as a PAD intervention and treatment center…Dr Kokinos has performed more peripheral arterial revascularization procedures than any other physician in Northern Californina…and that’s why more independent primary care physicians and Nephrologists refer their patients with Vascular Disease to Dr Kokinos than to any other Vascular Surgeon in the South Bay: We Offer Hope When Others Say There Is None!

We Can Help!


Early detection is important to controlling PAD and allowing patients a full selection of treatment options. Dr. Kokinos has conducted extensive outreach to primary care physicians, internists, podiatrists, and orthopedic surgeons about the management of lower extremity arterial and venous disease and the signs and symptoms to look for.

“Early diagnosis and treatment are critical—because amputation is not the only answer,” explains Dr. Kokinos. “Over the past 15 years, the interventional treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) has changed significantly. Minimally invasive endovascular procedures and pedal access techniques have replaced many traditional surgical procedures. By combining advanced medical technology with our years of experience and expertise, we can offer hope—even when others say there is none.”

For more information about Peripheral Arterial Disease and South Bay Vascular Center & Vein Institute, go to






Cardio-Vascular Systems Inc (CSI). To learn more, click on the link below.



Recognized for her expertise in treating patients suffering from Peripheral Arterial Disease, Dr Kokinos has been chosen by Cardio Vascular Systems Inc. (CSI) as one of Silicon Valley’s leading experts in the diagnosis and treatment of PAD. In recognition of this expertise Dr Kokinos and South Bay Vascular Center have been honored on CSI’s website in their Physician Locator Section as one of  Silicon Valley’s leading Peripheral Arterial Disease experts.


What is Peripheral Arterial Disease? (PAD).

When you have PAD, your arteries are narrowed, restricting the blood flow to your legs, feet and/or toes. Symptoms include aches, numbness and burning sensations. If left untreated, things can get rapidly worse, including the possibility that his disease could lead to having one’s leg amputated.9 PAD is the biggest disease that most people have never heard about. It affects more than 18 million people – more than cancer, stroke and congestive heart failure.


Are You At Risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease? (PAD)

Smoking: Of all the risk factors for peripheral artery disease (PAD), smoking is considered the most powerful predictor of PAD.

Diabetes: Diabetes is a powerful risk factor of peripheral artery disease (PAD). One in three people over the age of 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD.40 People with diabetes and PAD have a 10 times greater risk of amputation than patients without diabetes.12

Chronic Kidney Disease: Individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are at a greater risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD).

  • Researchers estimate that 24% to 37% of patients with CKD also have PAD.44
  • 26 million American adults have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and millions of others are at increased risk of the disease.45
  • PAD is an often overlooked and under-diagnosed condition in patients with CKD.44,46

Why it is important to diagnose and treat the early symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease? (PAD)

Left untreated, peripheral arterial disease can lead to amputation. In fact, studies have shown that among patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI), the worst form of PAD, AMPUTATION IS ESTIMATED TO BE ~25%.5 


Symptoms that may be signs you have PAD.

  • The presence of an ulcer or gangrene is often a sign of  Chronic Limb Ischemia (CLI)

This is the most advanced form of PAD. Leg pain while walking and leg pain that is frequently intolerable also can be common with CLI. Intense discomfort from CLI can last from minutes to hours, and often happens at night. The leg pain from CLI can interrupt your sleep, and you might hang your foot off the edge of the bed in an attempt to get relief. Or you might only be able to get rest when you sleep upright in a chair.20

Critical Limb Ischemia

  • Is it painful to walk?

Have you noticed pain in your leg when you walk? Is it more than just feeling tired when walking?  Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can cause leg pain while walking. Aches and pains from PAD are the result of narrowed, hardened arteries in the legs, limiting blood flow to your legs and feet. When there isn’t enough blood in your muscles and you try to move them, the pain in your leg can be severe. The discomfort can cause you to favor one of your legs while walking to avoid the pain.19 The pain can worsen when you’re active and decrease when you’re at rest.23 But you know it can come back.

    • Does leg pain frequently interrupt your sleep?

    Are you in the habit of hanging your foot off the edge of the bed to relieve the discomfort? Is sleeping upright in a chair the only way you can get rest? These might be more than normal effects of getting older. Pain in your legs and feet at night, or when you’re trying to sleep, is a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD). And nighttime leg pain could mean you have the worst form of PAD – critical limb ischemia (CLI). Are you in the habit of hanging your foot off the edge of the bed to relieve the discomfort? Is sleeping upright in a chair the only way you can get rest? These might be more than normal effects of getting older. Pain in your legs and feet at night, or when you’re trying to sleep, is a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD). And nighttime leg pain could mean you have the worst form of PAD – critical limb ischemia (CLI).

    Good circulation is important and it isn’t something you should ignore. Your blood helps regulate many things in your body. If blood is not easily reaching your toes and feet, those areas will experience a drop in temperature. If you have PAD, the arteries in your legs have narrowed and hardened. This limits blood flow to your legs and feet and can make them feel cold.

    Changes due to PAD can include thicker toenails and loss of hair on your leg, feet or toes. As you get older, you might notice changes to the look and feel of your skin and think these changes are a normal part of the aging process. But these changes could be a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD)

    • Painful Heavy Legs

    Unexplained pain or a feeling of heaviness in your legs could be caused by narrowed, hardened arteries from PAD. It may mean you have limited blood flow to your legs and feet. In the worst form of PAD, called critical limb ischemia (CLI), the obstructed blood flow is so considerable and widespread that the pain can be intolerable

    • Numbness or Burning in Your Legs

    If you notice a strange tingling in your foot, or you feel like your entire leg is on fire, pay attention to what your body is telling you and see a health care professional. Don’t ignore these kinds of unusual sensations, especially if they get progressively worse or more painful – they could be signs of a larger issue that requires a doctor’s attention. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can cause uncomfortable numbness or burning sensations in your feet and legs. The restricted blood flow brought on by PAD can harm your body in a variety of ways, including damaging your nerves, which transmit messages between your brain and the rest of your body.






    Intelligence? Experience? Compassion?

    Dr. Polly Kokinos checks all those boxes (and more!).

    • She finished high school at 14, Barnard University at 16 and and Columbia Medical school at 20. 
    • At 29 Dr. Kokinos finished her vascular surgery training and became the youngest board-certified vascular surgeon in the country.
    • She founded South Bay Vascular in 1997 and has devoted her entire career to her local community as a private practice doctor.
    • She’s performed more than 20,000 vein procedures in the past 24 years.
    • She’s is a female business owner who has overcome the challenges of working in a “man’s” world.  In fact, Dr. Kokinos has created the largest independent vascular surgery practice in Silicon Valley.
    • She’s recognized as the leading limb salvage and wound healing surgeon in Silicon Valley. When it comes to your health, it’s not just experience that counts, it’s the right experience that matters. THE “RIGHT” EXPERIENCE COUNTS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HEALTH
    • She’s spent her entire career in private practice and didn’t just start her practice after losing their way in a managed care environment.
    • RESULTS: Here’s what Dr. Kokinos’ patients have said about their care over the past 30 days. Vascular Surgeon

    No wonder more Silicon Valley physicians refer their patients to “Dr. K.” than to any other vascular surgeon in Silicon Valley!


    If you or anyone you know suffers from a circulation related illness, we can help!


    Call us at 408-376-3626 to schedule an appointment.


    Silicon Valley's Most Trusted Vascular Surgeon

    American University of Antigua Medical School Honors South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute as a Clinical Campus

    Today, South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute is pleased to announce another success in its legacy as Silicon Valley’s most trusted independent vascular surgery practice. Genesis Medicus and American University of Antigua Medical School are honored to announce that Dr Kokinos has been appointed to their clinical faculty in Vascular Surgery.  Recognized as Silicon Valley’s most trusted independent vascular surgeon, Dr Kokinos and South Bay Vascular Center will now serve as a clinical campus for American University of Antigua medical school students.  In this capacity 4th year AUA medical students will train at South Bay Vascular Center as part of their clinical rotations in Vascular Surgery.


    Inspiring The Next Generation of Medical Professionals

    Through this appointment, South Bay Vascular continues their commitment to the next generation of physicians.  Earlier this year South Bay Vascular Center celebrated the 6th anniversay of their Medical Gap Year Internship program.  Dr Kokinos is immensely proud of the fact that her program has seen 7 of it’s graduates matriculate to US Medical, D.O.  and Nursing Schools. With the announcement of this most recent honor, South Bay Vascular hopes to inspire the next generation of medical students to become Vascular Surgeons.

    South Bay Vascular Center is likewise honored that other Vascular Surgery Practices in the area have been inspired by our medical gap year program by starting similiar pre-med training programs at their own practices. By announcing similar programs in recognition of the success of Dr Kokinos’ groundbreaking work in this area, we are deeply honored to have been an example for them to follow.


    South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute

    For 24 years Dr Kokinos and the Staff at South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute have dedicated themselves to providing cutting edge, independent vascular care to Silicon Valley patients.

    Cutting edge care, delivered in a state of the art outpatient surgery center dedicated entirely to the practice of vascular surgery, is just one of the reasons why patients choose Dr Kokinos to treat their their circulation related illnesses. Having performed over 20,000 vein procedures, Dr Kokinos is Silicon Valley’s most TRUSTED independent vascular surgeon.  Recognized as the regional expert in the field of minimially invasive peripheral revascularizations in the outpatient setting, Dr Kokinos has performed more pedal access  peripheral vascular interventions than any other vascular surgeon in Silicon Valley. In her role as a leader in this field,  she has also trained many local vascular surgeons in these procedures as more and more hospital based vascular surgeons leave regional hospital systems to start their own independent vascular surgery practices.

    South Bay Vascular’s outstanding reputation as a leading treatment center for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Iliac Vein Compression have led patients to Dr Kokinos’ practice from throughout the United States when previous efforts at treating their conditions at other centers have failed. THE “RIGHT” EXPERIENCE COUNTS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HEALTH

    Congratulations to Dr Kokinos and her team at South Bay Vascular on this most recent accomplishment and to their long term commitment to the communities of the South Bay.



    The “RIGHT” Experience Counts When It Comes to Your Health! South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute is the Bay Area’s Most Trusted Varicose Vein Clinic and Treatment Center.

    Having performed over 20,000 vein procedures in the past 24 years, more independent doctors refer their vein patients to Dr. Polyxene (Polly) Kokinos than to any other vascular surgeon in the greater Silicon Valley region. Recognized as San Jose’s most experienced Vascular Surgeon and Varicose Vein Expert, Dr Kokinos offers cutting edge care to patients suffering from all forms of both arterial and venous disease.

    Here’s why more local doctors refer to South Bay Vascular than to any other Vascular Surgery Center in the Valley:

    • The “RIGHT” Experience Counts When it Comes to your Health: South Bay Vascular center has been treating vein patients in a private practice setting for over 24 years.
    • Cutting edge vascular care in a fully accredited, state of the art, and private out-patient surgery center dedicated entirely to the practice of vascular surgery.
    • Access to the most Advanced Imaging and Device technologies found anywhere in the world.
    • On-site fully staffed IAC accredited Vascular Ultrasound Clinic that is operated full time by Registered Vascular Technologists (RVT).
    • Vascular Studies ready by RPVI certified Vascular Surgeons.
    • Same day availability for Hemodialysis Access de-clots.
    • “One-Doctor, One Patient, One Nurse” practice philosophy means we put the patients first.
    • Full time access to practice physicians
    • Easy access to care: No admissions departments.
    • RESULTS:   We are MORE than just a colorful website and a Google Adwords campaign. Remember, all that glitters is NOT Gold!

     Trust the doctor your physician does.

     Remember, Its Not Just Experience That Counts.

    When It Comes to Your Health, It’s The “RIGHT” Experience that Matters!

    Dr Polyxene Kokinos, Silicon Valley’s Vascular Surgeon.

    Call us today at 408-376-3626 to schedule your vein consultation.

    Click here to learn more about Dr Kokinos  NOT JUST VASCULAR CARE, EXCEPTIONAL VASCULAR CARE


    Type “Varicose Vein Doctor” into your Google search and in seconds, you’re overwhelmed by results.

    Each link points to a different website.  Each site claims their “Vein Doctor” is the “best” and every practitioner claims to have the “bona-fides” to back-up these claims. Credentials span the continuum from Academic Institution Affiliations, (claiming to be X, Y or Z University Affiliated); to Chair-Personships (they “chaired’ this or that medical departments in the “Big Box” health care systems they came from (i.e. Kaiser, PAMF, or Sutter) to Medical Journal Publications…all this in an apparent attempt to equate administrative responsibilities with clinical excellence. Some of the bolder in the group even claim they trained at the best medical schools hoping to convince potential patients that by attending a great medical school they are the best physician for the procedure.




    If a vein doctor’s website shows up in your Google Search and you see that the listing starts with the word “AD” …be careful. It means that the owner of this practice is paying Google a special Advertising fee to get their name to the top of the search results. This is an attempt by this physician to “BUY LEGITIMACY”.  Businesses PAYING google to display their ads above the practitioners who have EARNED this privilege is a great way for Google to make money. Unfortunately, it can be deceiving to people who think that because a doctor’s website pops up at the top of the search results that they must be the best. (On a separate note…If a physician’s website DOES show up at the top of the search results and DOES NOT have the word “AD” in front of it, IT IS a sign that this physician has many website visitors and that they have been around for a long time…Especially if this listing is followed by a large number of Google Reviews.)  It also means that this physician has EARNED their reputation, and NOT purchased their website ranking. A word of warning to patients searching for an experienced vein care professionals. Anyone can pay to elevate their search rankings on Google; regardless of their experience.


    IGNORE websites with paid “AD’s”, especially if they don’t have any verified Google reviews. 


    To make things even more difficult, it can be very confusing just trying to figure out what kind of doctor actually does varicose vein procedures. Some doctors call themselves “Vein Specialists”. Others call themselves “Vein Experts”. You’ll also see the labels “Phlebologist” and “Vascular Expert”. Finally, there is the “Vascular Surgeon”. You ask yourself, do all of these physicians fix varicose veins? If so, what’s the difference? (Learn more by clicking on the following link). Every one of these “Vein Doctors” promises to rid you of your ugly, painful veins, leg swelling and non-healing ulcers. Every one of them posts photos showing off their work to prove their point.

    Let’s face it, it’s confusing. All you really want is to get your veins “fixed” so that next time you get invited to a pool party you can wear shorts or a skirt again without being “mortified” by how bad your legs look. So, what’s next?

    Lost in this hype, finding the right doctor to treat your varicose veins might seem impossible. Choosing the best doctor for your specific vein condition is a difficult decision and not one that you should take lightly.  Only after serious consideration of the available options should this decision be made and in the best of all worlds, it should be made in consultation with your primary care physician…and this is the probably the most important message in this post.


    They’ve been in this community a long time and they know who is good and who is not. Their referral should be your number one reason to make an appointment with a Varicose Vein Doctor.

    In the best of scenarios, patients should visit as many doctors as they can; interview them and question them about everything relating to their condition and their ability to help you…but remember, your primary care doctor has been doing this for a long time. They’ve got the benefit of having seen the results from different doctors and on the strength of their recommendation, you should have the confidence to know that you are making the right choice.

    Here are a few things varicose vein patients should keep in mind:

    1. Remember, these are your legs. You deserve the best and you deserve to “Love Your Legs Again”.
    2. Don’t be frightened to ask your doctor tough questions.
      • Don’t just ask your vein doctor how long they have been in practice, ask them how long they have been doing these specific kinds of vein procedures. Ask them how many of these procedures they’ve done.
      • If your doctor is in private practice, ask them how long they have owned their own practice. This is important because getting things done right in a private practice is significantly more difficult than getting work done in a University Hospital or Big Box Medical System.
      • How many of these procedures have you done RECENTLY….if they do less than 25-30/ month, you might want to seriously consider finding another option
      • What kind of complications might you expect…every person is different and if your doctor says your legs will look as good as they did when you were 20, you might want to consider seeing someone else.
      • Who does your ultrasounds…are your ultrasound techs RVT’s (Registered Vascular Technologists?) Are they done “in-house” by full time Vascular ultrasonographers or are they done by “travelling” ultrasonographers who just work in their office a few times a week and who are not full time employees of the medical office.
      • Most importantly, is your Vascular lab IAC Accredited? This is especially important as your doctor will make their diagnosis on the basis of your ultrasound report and an IAC accreditation guarantees the best of the best studies are being done at that particular lab.
      • Who reads the ultrasounds….is it an RPVI registered physician, not simply a radiologist… as the two physicians will look for vastly different signs relating to vascular disease and health. Keep in mind if the study isn’t read correctly, the procedure can go poorly.
    3. Finally, ask your “Vein Specialist” about what happens if you have a complication Ask your provider if they have “Admitting privileges” at the local hospital in the event something goes wrong during the procedure and what their plan is if their procedure fails.




    South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute brings 24 years and 20,000 vein procedures to you as our patients. As the leading independent Vascular Surgery practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, more local independent physicians refer their vein patients to Dr Kokinos than to any other vascular surgeon in the greater Silicon Valley Region.


    Call us today at 408-376-3626 to schedule your vein consultation