ONE PATIENT, ONE DOCTOR, ONE NURSE; SOUTH BAY VASCULAR CENTER’S COMMITMENT TO PERSONALIZED CARE

Unlike so many big box medical centers (Kaiser, Sutter, PAMF, Stanford) where patients are often “overwhelmed” as soon as they get to the parking lot, South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institue offers world class, cutting edge vascular surgical care in a kinder, gentler environment.  Individualized patient care, although talked about and marketed heavily by these corporate health systems,  more often than not falls far short of patient expectations as higher order operational efficiencies and profitability concerns impact the kind of care patients actually experience in these larger health care systems.

ONE PATIENT; ONE DOCTOR; ONE NURSE. 

Putting patients at the center of everything that a physician does is a philosophy that sounds obvious…but is that always the case? At South Bay Vascular Center we are honored by the chance to earn your trust and to serve as your physicians; BUT, we also know that we must EARN the trust of every patient that we see.  That’s why our CREDENTIALS are NOT Enough…That’s why our REPUTATION is NOT enough. That’s why unmatched patient care is at the center of everything that we do. That’s why when patients come to our facility for a procedure each patient has their own nurse from start to finish to ensure the greatest patient care experience from start to finish. 

We know patients have options for their vascular care and that’s why we work hard to ensure that any patient referred to us by another doctor or that comes to us on their own has the confidence to know they’ve made the right choice of doctor to help them with their vascular related illnesses. ONE PATIENT; ONE DOCTOR; ONE NURSE is just one of the many ways that South Bay Vascular Center demonstrates our commitment to our patients in our efforts to provide the most advanced vascular care options offered anywhere in the world.

OUR TEAM

Together with her full time, highly skilled team of critical care and surgical nurses, radiological technicians, RVT certified Ultrasound Technologists and scrub assistants, Dr Kokinos provides unmatched peripheral vascular surgical care in her Nationally Accredited Surgical Facility. As diverse as Silicon Valley is, our staff reflects this same diversity as we have native speaking staff fluent in over 10 different languages. Be it Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, Hindi, Spanish, French, Greek or English, we have staff to make our patients comfortable in their native tongue.

OUR FACILITY

The South Bay Vascular Ambulatory Surgery facility is one dedicated entirely to the practice of Vascular Surgery and houses a specialized inventory of vascular medical devices and imaging equipment that surpasses the number of vascular medical devices and imaging equipment at Good Samaritan and O’Connor Hospitals combined. Together with her highly trained and specialized team,  Dr Kokinos brings over 30 years of surgical experience and 7 years of specialized surgical experience operating in a specially built vascular surgery outpatient facility to her patients.  Other physicians may claim to have the kind of training and experience that Dr Kokinos has in the outpatient environment, but NO other Vascular Surgeon in Silicon Valley comes anywhere close to having the kind of experience and outcomes Dr Kokinos does when it comes to providing care to the patients who come to her for the treatments and care of their vascular disease.

Put another way, for 25 years Dr Kokinos and her team at South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute have provided unmatched,  compassionate and individualized vascular surgical care to South Bay communities. It is why more independent physicians refer their vascular patients to Dr Kokinos than to all the other silicon valley vascular surgeons combined. When it comes to your health, we know that it’s not just our credentials and our experience that count.  It’s not about just having an accredited facility or a staff of travelling specialists to help when needed…   It’s about the RIGHT KIND OF EXPERIENCE EVERY TIME YOU NEED IT.

RESULTS matter when it comes to your health because sometimes you don’t get a second chance.

South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute: We Offer Hope When Others Say there Is None.

Call us at 408-376-3626. We Can Help

FOOT PAIN AT NIGHT: IT MIGHT BE MORE SERIOUS THAN YOU THINK

Many patients over the age of 65 who have a history of smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol wake up at night with pain in their foot or toes. Some believe this is arthritis or gout; others think it is the result of just spending too much time on their feet during the day.  Patients often self-adapt to this problem, as it usually develops slowly over time, but when questioned about their sleep habits, they will sometimes tell you that they sleep in a recliner or they sleep with their leg hanging over the side of the bed to make their pain go away.

It is very common for elderly patients to get up at night to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, however, it’s actually foot pain that wakes them up.  Once up, they get out of bed because that makes their feet feel better (again due to gravity) and after walking to the bathroom they can go back to sleep, pain -free for a couple of hours.  Even that small amount of walking helps to get their blood flowing again and makes it easier for them to go back to sleep.

Sometimes, foot pain at night is the sign of a more serious condition.

  • Foot pain at night may be related to having poor circulation in the foot. The name for this in medical terms is “rest pain”. This is not “pain at rest” but rather pain that happens because the circulation cannot support the tissues even when they are at rest.

Foot pain at night may be an early warning sign of critical limb ischemia.

  • Chronic Limb Ischemia is another term for lack of blood flow;  if you experience this rest pain at night and it goes away after hanging your foot over the side of the bed or chair you are sleeping in, immediately call and speak with your doctor to set up an appointment for them to evaluate your symptoms. Although it may come on slowly, the arteries in your feet may be so blocked that they cannot even deliver the minimal amount of oxygen the tissues in the foot and toes need to keep them nourished. Left untreated, this blockage can lead to a more serious problem, amputation or even death.

What’s important for the patient to realize is that chronic limb ischemia causes the foot and leg to get swollen, so the patient is often MIS-DIAGNOSED with a vein problem, not an arterial problem

If this sounds like something you or someone you love is experiencing, it is important to tell your primary care doctor OR schedule an appointment DIRECTLY with a vascular surgeon. These symptoms are a sign that your body is giving you that you may need immediate help. This truly is a sign that your foot is starving for oxygen and blood and that if left untreated, might lead to an unnecessary amputation. Help is possible, however and if treated early enough, those suffering from these symptoms can be helped significantly.

If you suffer from painful feet in the middle of the night, WE CAN HELP

contact us today  at 408-376-3626 to learn more about PAD and how Dr. Kokinos can help, click here.

South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute: We Offer Hope When Others Say There Is None.

 

 

A SWOLLEN LEG IS NOT NORMAL

Leg Swelling: Iliac Vein Compression
Chronic pain and swelling in one leg, (especially the left side) may be caused by iliac Vein Compression. This is a little-known but fairly common condition that can greatly impact your quality of life – and may lead to more serious complications. Leg swelling is NOT a normal part of aging or weight gain. And it’s NOT something you have to “just live with.”

Leg swelling is a special area of interest of Dr. Polly Kokinos, and she has been active in doing clinical research to find better ways to diagnose and to treat this condition. South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute is recognized as the leading treatment center for evaluating and treating left leg swelling. If you have been told there is nothing to do for your leg swelling, call us at 408-376-3626 for an evaluation. We offer hope when others say there is none!

About Iliac Vein Compression:
Iliac vein compression (also known as May-Thurner Symptom) is an anatomic condition that occurs when the left iliac vein gets squeezed and compressed between the lumbar spine and the right iliac artery. This compression prevents the adequate drainage of blood from the leg, which can cause serious problems such as swelling, aching, blood clots, and non-healihg ulcerations. (See Diagram)

Symptoms:

  • Swelling, heaviness and aching in one leg, especially the left leg
  • Recurrent blood clots, especially in the left leg
  • Non healing wounds or dark dry skin in the ankle or shin

Solutions
South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute is the leading leg swelling clininc in Northern California offering cutting-edge treatment options that very few other facilities can deliver. We are at the forefront of diagnosing Iliac Vein Compression using regular vascular ultrasound and in treating it with the newest endovascuar techniques using IVUS (intravascular ultrasound) and stents in an outpationt office setting.

If you or a loved one are suffering from leg swelling or any other vascular problems, please call our office today at 408-376-3626 to schedule an appointment. Our offices in Campbell and Gilroy remain open to safely treat patients even during the COVID-19 crisis.

A MULTI-CULTURAL APPROACH TO VASCULAR CARE

South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute, with offices in Campbell and Gilroy CA., is recognized as one of the leading vascular surgery practices in Northern California. In addition to their cutting edge work in amputation prevention, South Bay Vascular Center is widely recognized as the leading center for the diagnosis and treatment of iliac-vein compression, medically know as May-Thurners disease, in the whole of the Western United States. Using the most advanced diagnostic imagining technology, Intra Vascular Ultrasound (IVUS), Dr’s Kokinos and Pineda have treated more patients for this mostly undiagnosed cause of leg swelling….a condition which often presents in patients as left leg swelling, than any other medical practice in the region.

Delivering exceptional care, however, involves much more than simply being the best practitioner. Exceptional patient care demands compassionate care. Exceptional patient care is born of a philosophy that understands the patient apart from their disease….it requires an understanding of how disease impacts every part of a patients life…their lifestyle, their family, their friends and most importantly, their future. Communicating this understanding to patients is difficult in the best of circumstances and when patients come from a different cultural system, communication becomes even more difficult.

At South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute, we pride ourselves in being able to communicate with our patients across multiple cultural and language barriers. To this point, our physicians and staff speak many different languages and represent a diversity of cultural and faith traditions. As native speakers South Bay Vascular Staff can communicate with our patients in the following languages:

  • Spanish
  • Greek
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Farsi
  • Russian
  • English
  • Tagalog
  • French
  • Turkish

Additionally, our staff is sensitive to many diverse cultural traditions, faith based gender sensitivities and ethnic differences.

South Bay Vascular Center is a community based surgical practice operating at the forefront of vascular medicine. Our physicians provide unmatched medical care by providing the best possible outcomes in the most difficult of circumstances. In our private, nationally accredited state of the art ambulatory surgery center and vascular ultrasonography laboratory we treat each and every patient with the utmost of respect allowing them to maintain their dignity in difficult times

Large medical systems, often referred to as “Big Box” medicine, are an operationally efficient and a very profitable way to practice medicine but delivering exceptional care is difficult as the underlying drivers are often constrained by larger “business” decisions instead of what’s in the best interest of the patient. At South Bay Vascular, we operate with a care philosophy wholly different than big box medicine and as such, provide an unmatched level of care not found anywhere else in the region.

A multi-cultural approach to providing exceptional vascular care is just one of the many ways that the physicians and staff at South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute strive to be the best at what we do. Together with providing the most sophisticated medical care we deliver exceptional patient care in the most difficult of circumstances.

If you our anyone else that you know suffers from problems in any part of their circulatory system, call us today to learn how we can help.

LEG SWELLING: BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS FOLLOWING THE PLACEMENT OF AN ILIAC VEIN STENT

Photos of patient who had suffered with right leg swelling for three months before coming to see us. The patient was found to have a problem with their right iliac vein (in the pelvis) that we easily treated with a 45 minute outpatient procedure placing a stent in the vein through a small puncture in their groin. Five days later, his swelling was almost completely gone.

If you have had painful or annoying one-sided leg swelling we may be able to help. Call us today for a consultation at 408-376-3626. South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute is the regional leader in treating leg swelling due to iliac vein compression.

LEG SWELLING CAN BE MORE THAN JUST VARICOSE VEINS

Time and again, patients come to our office following a vein procedure by local Vein “Experts”, Vein “Specialists” and Phelebologists complaining that their legs continue to hurt and to swell even after their varicose vein procedures. Disappointed and scared, many of these patients have spent thousands of dollars, have undergone multiple procedures and have endured months of pain, only to find that they have been treated for the wrong condition and have been told that there is nothing else that their doctor can do to help them. Not knowing where else to turn, patients walk into our office knowing that something is just not right and hoping that we we can help.

The question is, why is this happening?

For the past 23 years the physicians and surgeons at South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute have dedicated their entire practice to treating patients with the full range of venous issues–from cosmetic spider veins to non-healing venous ulcers. Since 2005 alone, we have performed over 10,000 endovenous closure procedures in our office, and have done thousands more phlebectomies and sclerotherapy sessions in an effort to help our patients return to a normal life. At South Bay Vascular, we are not just a varicose vein treatment center or vein clinic; we are a group of board certified vascular surgeons, clinically trained to treat patients with problems in any part of their circulatory system. Treating varicose veins is not something we have learned at a weekend course or seminar as a way to augment our primary practice…veins are our primary practice and that is what we have been clinically trained to do.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. And that is why so many patients come to our office looking for help.

Many of our patients, having been previously treated for varicose veins by cardiologists, internists, dermatologists and phlebologists positioning themselves as Vein “Specialists” and Vein “Experts”, but have conditions far more complicated than “leaky valves” that show up as varicose veins. In most of the complications we see, patients have been treated by doctors thinking the problem could be easily fixed using a VNUS, EVLT or Sclerotherapy procedure. Unfortunately for the patient many times this simple procedure does not work because their underlying medical condition is a much more complex and difficult problem to treat. When a patients problems persists, these same doctors end up referring these patients to an emergency room or to a vascular surgeon hoping their complications can be undone. Worse yet, sometimes these same doctors simply tell their patients that there is nothing else that can be done for them.

In our years of treating patients with venous disease we have achieved a technical success rate using our endovenous VNUS and laser procedures of nearly 100%. But NEARLY 100% is a far cry from 100%. Some patients don’t feel better. Some patients, continue to have legs that ache, legs that remain swollen, and wounds that do not heal. Some of our patients were just not getting better.

Up until about two years ago, all we could do for those patients whose legs did not heal was to repeat the ultrasound and hope to find some other vein issue that we could treat. Sometimes this worked; but many times it didn’t. In the instances when we did find a secondary vein or discovered that a vein treated earlier just did not close entirely, we would proceed to treat this vein a second time; but even then, many of our patients simply did not get better. Our question continued to be Why?

After 20 years and tens of thousands of patients, we discovered that in certain patients, there was in fact, another mechanism in the venous system that was keeping our patients from getting better. It was called May-Thurners Syndrome.

What we have discovered is that in many of the cases where our patients did not heal, the problem wasn’t with the the Greater Saphenous Vein (the main vein treated in the vast majority of varicose vein procedures) but with the iliac veins; the vein between the belly button and the groin. What we discovered was that problems in the iliac vein could cause many of the same types of symptoms and problems that we saw when there were leaky valves in the leg veins. What we learned was that the problems with the iliac vein were usually the result of a compression or a scarring. What we discovered was that iliac vein compression (first identified in the early 50’s by Dr’s May and Thurner) happened because of the way the iliac vein is anatomically positioned between a beating artery and a hard pelvic bone and that often times this presented as varicose veins and swollen left legs.

Iliac Vein Compressions not only causes elevated pressure in the left leg resulting in aching, swelling, and non-healing wounds, but predisposes the left side to a much higher risk of blood clots after orthopedic surgery, long flights or drives, cancer, periods of immobility or bed rest.

Very few doctors, it turns out, are able to treat iliac vein compression, because one has to be a vascular surgeon and or an interventional radiologist to do so. Many of the so-called phlebologists, and “vein doctors”, who decided to abandon their field of training to treat varicose veins and other cosmetic issues, are not people who were trained in their residencies or fellowships to perform this type of procedure. Nor were they trained in ultrasound or in understanding the flow dynamics of the vascular system. Because of this lack of clinic training, they are unable to treat iliac vein compression, and so they ignore it, keeping many patients from options that could help improve their daily lives, relieve their leg swelling, and heal their leg wounds.

At South Bay Vascular, we have trained and have performed thousands of venus procedures and have treated hundreds of cases of iliac vein compression. We are experts in all aspects of vascular surgery, including conditions like iliac vein compression. Unlike phlebologists, we can offer all approved treatment options to patients for the treatment of their leg aching, swelling, and discoloration. Most importantly, it is our state of the art accredited vascular lab and registered ultrasound technologists who make so much of what we do at south bay vascular possible. Our advanced vein mapping and screening protocols, together with our national accreditation gives us the ability to do cutting edge surgical procedures; this is what sets us apart from nearly every other vein clinic and treatment center in the whole of Northern California.

Because of the advances in medical imaging and device technology, a large number of our procedures can be done on an outpatient basis in our office. Dr. Kokinos is a recognized leader in the area of deep venous disease and has treated more patients in northern California using Intravascular Ultrasound than any other physician in the region. As a result of her cutting edge treatment protocols and surgical techniques, Dr. Kokinos has been recognized as an international expert and has been an invited speaker at national vascular and interventional meetings in San Francisco, Miami, and Colorado over the last 6 months to discuss her findings and her treatment for patients presenting with these types of problems. Most recently she has been asked to speak at the main venous meeting in the United States, the American Venous Forum, where she will be presenting her clinical research on the use of non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat iliac vein compression.

Currently, Dr. Kokinos serves as the Medical Director of the Wound Care Centers at O’Connor and St. Louise Hospitals, and is the Chairperson of the Cardiovascular department at San Jose’s Good Samaritan Hospital. She and her partner, Dr. Carlos E. Pineda, are dedicated to offering patients suffering from both arterial and venous wounds the most cutting-edge and effective treatments available to save their legs, stop their pain, and improve their lives.

If you or anyone you know suffers from varicose veins, diabetic infections, non-healing leg wounds and or are facing an amputation, please call our office to understand your options.

We offer hope when others say there is none.

408-376-3626

DR. KOKINOS SELECTED TO PRESENT AT THE AMERICAN VENOUS FORUM

Dr. Kokinos will be presenting an abstract on her clinical research regarding iliac vein compression at the national American Venous Forum in New Orleans early next year. This meeting is the largest venous meeting of the year, and is sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery.

Dr. Kokinos has been recognized nationally as an expert on May-Thurner’s Syndrome, or iliac vein compession. This problem can cause symptoms of (predominantly) left leg swelling, heaviness, aching, deep venous clots, and non-healing ankle or leg wounds. She has performed more intravascular ultrasound exams and stents of the deep venous system than any other doctor on the West Coast in the last year. She will be presenting her clinical research on using regular ultrasound, done by the specially trained registered vascular technologists in the ICAVL accredited Institute for Vascular Testing to diagnose this fairly common but widely underdiagnosed issue. Previously, patients needed to get CT scans which used significant amounts of radiation and contrast for the diagnosis. This problem is not only seen because of a common anatomic situation, but also often as a result of an undiagnosed blood clot (DVT) in the iliac or femoral vein after orthopedic, back, or gynecologic surgery.

If you have one leg that is more swollen or painful than then other, or have had a leg blood clot in the past, please call us at 408-376-3626 or visit us at www.southbayvascular.com.

BLOOD CLOTS (DEEP VENOUS THROMBOSIS‐DVT) A SILENT KILLER

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms. DVT is a very feared complication of venous disease because it can lead to a pulmonary embolus, a clot in the lung that can be deadly.

There are several symptoms to DVT but the most common are the sudden onset of pain and swelling in your leg. This does not happen in your foot, but happens, most commonly in the back of your calf or your entire thigh. Usually, the painful part of your leg is also swollen. This comes on abruptly and generally does not go away even after a few days. It is very important to go to your regular doctor and get an ultrasound of your leg. If this is “normal” but the swelling or pain persists, then you should go see a vascular surgeon as more testing (such as CT scan or specialized ultrasound) may need to be done. This is quite important to do quickly as some treatments only work if they are done within a week of the development of symptoms.

If you are diagnosed with a DVT, you should be treated with blood thinners immediately. The role of blood thinners is not to actually “dissolve” the clot in your leg, but rather to prevent it from travelling to your lung and causing a Pulmonary Embolus. The blood thinners also work to prevent the clot from becoming more extensive. If this is your first blood clot, you should be treated for 6 weeks to 3 months with blood thinners depending on why the blood clot occurred. The risk factors for developing blood clots include long plane or car rides, immobility (after an operation or injury), obesity, being very sedentary, pregnancy, having had an orthopedic or gynecologic procedure, some genetic factors (hypercoagulable syndromes), dehydration, and cancer. It is important if there if there is not a clear reason for the blood clot, that a search for a hidden cause be done.

Dr. Kokinos and the staff at South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute are experts in the identification of and treatment of blood clots. If you or anyone you know suffers from the rapid onset of pain and or swelling following a medical procedure and or long trip (most common on long airplane flights) please contact your primary physician immediately or call us at 408-376-3626 to discuss your treatment options.

SWOLLEN LEG?

It is amazing to me how many patients we see who have suffered with leg swelling or wounds for months or years. They believe that it will just go away, or that the wound will just heal. Sometimes, they have even gone to their doctor, who usually does not even look at their leg. Although mild ankle swelling can sometimes occur just because the weather has been hot, or you have been sitting for a long time, or you had a lot of salt in your diet, the vast majority of the time, there is actually an underlying reason for the leg swelling. This can include such “big” problems such as a heart or kidney problem, a blood clot that has not been diagnosed (especially after an orthopedic procedure or a long car or plane trip), a tumor that is compressing your abdominal or pelvic vessels, or leaky valves in your veins. It is truly important to seek expert help from a vascular surgeon if your leg swelling extends up into your calf, or if it lasts more than a couple of days. This is especially true if it is painful. That is most commonly the sign of a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and those must be treated immediately to prevent the blood clot from going to your lung and potentially killing you. Pulmonary embolus, when the clot travels to your lung and blocks a main artery there, is the number three cause of death in the United States that nobody talks about.

The work-up for leg swelling almost always will involve a leg ultrasound. This is a painless, quick, and inexpensive test that is diagnostic both for blood clots and leaky valves in the veins. Sometimes, if the problem is in the abdomen or pelvis, an ultrasound or CT scan there may be necessary. If the problems relates to a kidney or heart issue, blood work may be in order. In any case, sometimes, the treatment of the underlying problems that cause leg swelling need to be begun within a few days of its occuring so that one can have the best outcome possible.

If you have a swollen leg, whether it is for a few days or several months, come see the experts at South Bay Vascular Center to help diagnose and treat its cause.