NOT JUST VASCULAR CARE, EXCEPTIONAL VASCULAR CARE

Your health care is complicated enough… finding the right Vascular Surgeon shouldn’t be!

Experience counts when it comes to your health

Polyxene (Polly) Kokinos MD. RPVI. Board Certified in Vascular and General Surgery

Silicon Valley’s Most Trusted Vascular Surgeon.

Dr Kokinos…The Confidence of knowing you made the Right choice for your Vascular care.

  • The confidence of knowing that your vascular surgeon has been taking care of South Bay patients with vascular disease for almost 30 years.
  • The confidence of knowing that your surgeon built her private practice one patient at a time for almost a quarter of a century…BECAUSE referring PHYSICIANS TRUST Dr Kokinos to deliver the best possible outcomes for their patients: even in the most difficult of circumstances.
  • The confidence of knowing that your surgeon delivers both world class and compassionate care. That Dr Kokinos is the only Vascular surgeon in the South Bay who has built an independent, nationally accredited, state of the art Vascular Surgery Center of Excellence where SHE takes care of her patients…where cutting edge care is at the heart of everything that she does.
  • The confidence of knowing that your surgeon has earned the trust of local physicians. More independent local physicians refer their vascular patients to Dr Kokinos than to any other vascular surgeon in Silicon Valley.
  • The confidence of knowing you will receive the most Advanced and Innovative Care found anywhere in the world…No other vascular surgery practice in Silicon Valley offers a combination of the imaging, device and care options that South Bay Vascular Center can offer to their patients in their private, AAAASF nationally accredited ambulatory surgery center dedicated entirely to the treatment of complex vascular disease. “We offer hope when others say there is none”
  • The confidence of knowing you will receive Personalized Care…” One Doctor, One Patient, One Nurse” …We’re NOT a hospital; we are more. That’s why we provide individualized care. At South Bay Vascular Center, we care for you as a person, not just as another patient. Our job is to understand the “why” so that you have real solutions to living a healthy life.
  • The confidence of knowing you will receive Simplified Care: ALL your vascular care under one roof. Clinical care, Vascular Ultrasound care, and Surgical care. All your care in a single facility.

South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute. Silicon Valley’s Vascular Surgeon.

LEG SWELLING: SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

Do you Suffer From Iliac Vein Compression?

To answer that question, take a few seconds to consider the following:

  • Are your legs swollen? Is your left leg larger than your right?
  • Is it harder to slip one shoe on in the morning than the other?
  • Have you had cosmetic or other surgical procedure done and not gotten the outcome you wanted?
  • Are you a cancer patient undergoing treatment or procedures?
  • Have you ever suffered from a blood clot or (DVT) in your leg
  • Do you visit a wound care clinic with little to no success?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you MAY be suffering from a well known, but previously difficult to diagnose problem called May-Thurner’s Syndrome.

May Thurner’s Syndrome, also known as iliac Vein Compression, is a condition where the main artery supplying blood to the leg pushes down or compresses the main vein taking blood back to your heart. In the illustration below you can see in the far right graphic a “representation” of this compression. One way to help think of what happens when a patient suffers from iliac vein compressions is to consider what happens when a car tire partially runs over a garden hose in your driveway.

If the hose was “on” when you drove over it, water will continue to come out of the hose end but the flow rate will decrease. In a similiar way, blood returning to your heart will continue to flow if you have developed iliac vein compression, but the rate at which it returns is slowed down, resulting in a pooling of blood (i.e. swelling) in your leg.

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. In fact, studies have shown that in a full 30% of ALL people, the left iliac vein can be significantly compressed by the right iliac artery resulting in some kind of leg symptom….aching, heaviness, and most commonly, swelling or non-healing of wounds in the leg veins.

Swollen legs ARE 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. To diagnose and to treat this condition and the potentially deadly side effects caused by it (Blood Clots or Deep Venous Thrombosis) Dr. Kokinos has assembled a highly skilled team of vascular ultrasonographer’s who have developed a specialized screening protocol to evaluate for Iliac Vein Compression. Using state of the art ultrasonic imaging technology Dr. Kokinos’ Registered Vascular Ultrasonographer’s use this new protocol to scan up into the abdomen of their patients to examine the physics of the blood flow in this area. If a compression is identified during this ultrasound exam, Dr. Kokinos is able to further verify and treat this problem using a super specialized device called IVUS (Intra-vascular ultrasound) where she can insert a miniuture camera into the actual vein to determine the length of the compression after which she can place a stent to “re-open” this compressed vessel to re-establish normal blood flow.

To date, Dr. Kokinos has successfully performed over 200 of these iliac vein stent procedures in her state of the art out-patient angiography suite. She has lectured extensively at major vascular surgery meetings on her approach and success helping patients reduce leg swelling, increase the rate of wound healing and return to a normal way of living and is seen by her peers as an expert in this technique.

If you are currently experiencing a swollen leg, have a non healing leg, foot,or ankle wounds or have ever suffered a blood clot (DVT) please contact our office at 408-376-3626 to schedule an appointment.

Don’t suffer from swollen legs or non-healing leg ulcers any longer.

We can help!

DO YOU SUFFER FROM SWOLLEN LEGS? WE CAN HELP!

Do you Suffer From Iliac Vein Compression?

To answer that question, take a few seconds to consider the following:

▪ Are your legs swollen? Is your left leg larger than your right?
▪ Is it harder to slip one shoe on in the morning than the other?
▪ Have you had cosmetic or other surgical procedure done and not gotten the outcome you wanted?
▪ Are you a cancer patient undergoing treatment or procedures?
▪ Have you ever suffered from a blood clot or (DVT) in your leg
▪ Do you visit a wound care clinic with little to no success?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you MAY be suffering from a well known, but previously difficult to diagnose problem called May-Thurner’s Syndrome.

May Thurner’s Syndrome, also known as iliac Vein Compression, is a condition where the main artery supplying blood to the leg pushes down or compresses the main vein taking blood back to your heart. Previously undiagnosed, major advances in medical imaging technology have given vascular surgeons the tools needed to demonstrate that May Thurner’s syndrome is directly responsible for the slowing of blood going back to ones heart resulting in the swelling and or edema of the leg. These same studies have shown that in a full 30% of all people, the left iliac vein can be significantly compressed by the right iliac artery resulting in some kind of leg symptom….aching, heaviness, and most commonly, swelling or non-healing of wounds in the leg veins.

The Physicians and Surgeons at South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute specialize in treating Iliac Vein Compression. To diagnose and to treat this condition and the potentially deadly side effects caused by it (Blood Clots or Deep Venous Thrombosis) Dr. Kokinos has assembled a highly skilled team of vascular ultrasonographer’s who have developed a specialized screening protocol to evaluate for Iliac Vein Compression. Using state of the art ultrasonic imaging technology Registered Vascular Ultrasonographer’s use this new protocol and ultrasonic sound waves to scan up into the abdomen of their patients to examine the physics of the blood flow in this area. If a patient is found to have iliac vein compression, and is symptomatic for this condition, we then recommend IVUS–intravascular ultrasound and iliac vein stenting to re-establish blood flow in this area by opening up the compressed blood vessel in this area.

South Bay Vascular Center is a specialized vascular surgical facility dedicated entirely to treating vascular related illnesses. Unlike in a traditional hospital operating room, South Bay Vascular’s nationally accredited ambulatory surgery center is designed specifically to treat this kind of circulatory disease. Using advanced imaging equipment and device technology designed specifically for vascular related illnesses Dr. Kokinos is able to treat IVC disease in her outpatient surgery center setting in Campbell, CA. Treating her patients in this kinder and gentler environment Dr. Kokinos simplifies what has traditionally been the difficult, unfriendly and often times complicated admissions process of a traditional hospital. To date, Dr. Kokinos has successfully performed over 200 of these iliac vein stent procedures in her out-patient angiography suite and has lectured extensively at major vascular surgery meetings on her approach and success helping patients reduce leg swelling, increase the rate of wound healing and return to a normal way of living.

If you are currently experiencing a swollen leg, have a non healing leg, foot,or ankle wounds or have ever suffered a blood clot (DVT) please contact our office at 408-376-3626 to schedule an appointment.

Don’t suffer from swollen legs or non-healing leg ulcers any longer.

We can help!

408-376-3626

WWW.SOUTHBAYVASCULAR.COM

BLOOD CLOTS AND AIRLINE TRAVEL

People are more mobile today….everyday traveling to more and more places by plane, train, and automobile. Now, more than ever, vast numbers of business people and pleasure seekers cross the globe on a daily basis for work, opportunity and adventure.

As difficult (and as exciting as travel can be) extended periods of immobility during these long trips carries a hidden risk…a sometime fatal risk…especially if one is squished into the middle seat in the back of the plane for hours on end making it difficult to get up and move: the risk of developing a DVT (more commonly known as a blood clot) in the deep veins of their legs.

Veins are a network of blood vessels that work to return blood TO the heart (as compared to arteries which are blood vessels that transfer blood AWAY from the heart) Veins work by using a series of very small valves to keep blood flowing in a single direction and, generally, prevent blood from going back towards the ground even though gravity exerts a constant force to pull the blood down.

One’s calf muscles play a critical role in the venous system. These muscles, when activated, act like a “pump” to help squeeze blood back up through the veins and back up to their heart. When immobile,especially common during long periods of travel, the muscles cannot help the veins do their job, and the blood just sits in your legs. Blood naturally has proteins in it that helps it clot so that you don’t bleed to death after a cut or injury. When these clots develop, the leg can become swollen and painful. Many people develop leg swelling during long plane or car travel. However, one big differentiating factor between that kind of swelling and a DVT is that a DVT usually only happens on one leg. Often, the swelling persists for more than a little while after you get moving again. In addition, the leg, especially in the area of the calf muscle, is often tender when squeezed.

In the event that you experience the kind of symptoms explained above it is vitally important to go to the doctor or emergency room immediately. The most feared complication of a DVT is when the clot in the leg travels to the lung causing a PE—a pulmonary embolus. This can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and even death. In fact, PE is the third most common cause of death in the United States, and few regular people know about it. If you do think you have a blood clot, it is important to get an ultrasound to diagnose it and to be started on blood thinners. It is also very important to see a doctor who specializes in blood clots, often a vascular surgeon, to evaluate whether or not there is another reason in addition to travel that this may have happened. Occasionally, having a DVT is a sign of a more serious underlying issue, and the travel just precipitated its occurrence.

At SBVC, our physicians and surgeons aggressively work up patients who present with the symptoms of a DVT to make sure there is no other contributing factor. We work closely with your primary care doctor, and occasionally call in hematologists (specialists in blood problems) to consult as well. If you or anyone you know suffers from non resolving swollen calf’s or legs following a long flight please call our office at 408-376-3626 to schedule an immediate visit to determine the extent of and appropriate treatment for DVT.

To learn more about blood clots and flying click on the attached link to visit a more detailed article on healthline.com

https://www.healthline.com/health/dvt-and-flying

DR. KOKINOS SELECTED TO SPEAK AT 2017 UCSF VASCULAR SYMPOSIUM

Dr. Kokinos is honored to be a featured speaker at this years world renown UCSF Vascular Symposium. Dr. Kokinos will present her on-going research on the treatment of venous ulcers. This years session will be presented on April 6, 2017 in San Francisco, CA. Congratulation’s Dr. Kokinos on your selection as a speaker.

Dr. Kokinos is a Board Certified Vascular and General Surgeon and is the medical director of the wound care clinics at Verity’s O’Connor Hospital in San Jose and St. Louise Hospital in San Martin Ca. Together with her partner, Dr. Carlos Pineda, Dr. Kokinos operates the leading varicose vein treatment center in Northern California and has provided specialized vein care treatment and repair for over 20 years. Recognized as the leading Vein Specialist and Varicose Vein Doctor in Northern California, Dr. Kokinos is known as the Doctor’s Doctor and is honored to work alongside her patients to help them return to a healthy and normal lifestyle.

ACHING TIRED OR HEAVY LEGS?

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.

SOUTH BAY VASCULAR ANNOUNCES THE OPENING OF THE SOUTH BAYS ONLY DIALYSIS ACCESS CENTER WITH FULL TIME VASCULAR SURGERY COVERAGE

South Bay Vascular Center and Vein institute is pleased to announce the opening of the South Bay’s only Dialysis Access Center with full time Vascular Surgery Coverage.

The new dialysis access center is the only full service access center of its kind in the South Bay. By offering full time vascular Surgery coverage the new center provides an unmatched level of care not found anywhere else in the South Bay. Dialysis access complications are treated quickly and effectively enabling dialysis patients to return to their dialysis sessions with minimal disturbance to their lives. Complications encountered in dialysis can be completely treated by qualified surgeons without the need for secondary referrals and or delays in the treatment of clotted or failed grafts.

The new center has an on-site accredited full service vascular lab to assist patients in the rapid and accurate diagnosis and treatment of any complications associated with dialysis access.

We can be reached toll free at 1-855-WE-D-CLOT

SOUTH BAY VASCULAR PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF A NEW DIALYSIS ACCESS CENTER IN THE SOUTH BAY

South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute is pleased to announce the recent affiliation of Local Vascular Surgeons Dr. Polyxene Kokinos MD and Carlos E. Pineda MD with long time community Interventional Radiologists Dr. Anup Singh and Dr. Raj Tandon in the opening of a full time dialysis access center.

Dr.’s Kokinos, Pineda, Singh and Tandon will provide full time coverage in their Campbell, CA Angiography Suite and provide immediate one-call service to local dialysis centers when surgical intervention is needed to enable ongoing dialysis for their patients.

By dialing 1-855-WE-D-CLOT (1-855-933-2568) Local Dialysis centers will now have an immediate option for treating any complications associated with a patient dialysis session, enabling a quick return for patients to continue their treatments.

The new dialysis access center is the only full service dialysis access center in the South Bay with full time vascular surgery coverage.

Full time coverage and Immediate access to care by board certified vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists

Ease of use: One-call service vs being sent to a hospital emergency room

Trusted local physicians providing compassionate care in a personalized setting,

Experienced care in a state of the art facility conveniently located in Campbell, CA.

Dedicated physicians, committed to South Bay patients for over 60 years of combined service

One site accredited full service Vascular Lab

Our specialities include

Thrombosed or failing AV fistulas and grafts

Placement of temporary dialysis catheters

Surgery to place fistulas and grafts

1-855-WE-D-CLOT

TEN MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT VARICOSE VEINS

Last weekend, during my daughter’s water polo game, I noticed the coach for the opposing team was limping and had a very swollen left leg. With a closer look I realized he had the hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) of chronic venous disease and ugly bulging varicose veins easily the size of my thumb all over the inside of his calves. I decided to go ask him about them, as they looked awful, the man was clearly in pain, and I was concerned. After a brief conversation with the coach, where he told me various “old wives’ tales” it dawned on me that he probably wasn’t alone thinking the way he did so I thought I should post this blog in an attempt to clear up these ten common misconceptions about varicose veins. Here goes:

“Varicose veins are simply a cosmetic problem”

About half of the patients we see in our practice for varicose veins complain about the pain they experience because of their veins. Because these patients are experiencing pain and suffering, many times varicose veins are categorized as a Medical condition and not just a cosmetic issue. This is especially true if they are accompanied by leg aching, throbbing, swelling, or discoloration. Venous disease affects about 40 million people in the United States and about 1 million end up with ulcers that are painful and difficult to heal. As a medical condition, depending on the severity of a patients condition, insurance often covers for the procedure to be done. That way, patients are not forced to pay out of pocket to rid themselves of their painful and ugly veins.

“Varicose veins can cause strokes, heart attacks, or gangrene”

Although varicose veins are a circulatory problem, the blood vessels causing strokes, heart attacks, and gangrene are arteries not veins. The patient profile of patients suffering from vein issues (women, multiple pregnancies, family history, standing occupation) is very different from those that get arterial problems (smokers, diabetics, patients with high blood pressure or cholesterol). Because of this, patients suffering from varicose veins should consult with their physicians to determine if this problem is accompanied by any underlying,and potentially more serious, circulatory issues

“Only women get varicose veins”

Although venous disease is more common in women, about 40% of our patients are men. Unfortunately, men tend to present with more advanced disease or longer standing symptoms.

“I have had my veins just like this for twenty years”

Venous disease does progress if not treated and currently there are several outpatient office procedures that can be done with excellent results and low risks

“It is not worth treating varicose veins because they just come back”

The treatment of venous insufficiency is one of the more successful treatments in medicine, as long as the underlying cause is treated- ie. the underlying veins that have the leaky valves. In the old days, patients were treated simply with removal of the bulgy veins. Because the underlying saphenous veins that had leaky valves were not treated, the bulgy veins come back. Now that we do ultrasound to “map out” the diseased veins, the recurrence rate should only be about 10% at 10 years.

“Insurance will not cover any varicose vein treatment”

Although insurance companies have absolutely made the criteria for coverage for venous disease much more difficult over the last ten years, most patients who do have leaky valves in their underlying valves are covered. Sclerotherapy for spider veins and the simple removal of bulgy veins for appearance are almost never covered today.

“Varicose veins are “surplus parts” that I might need someday”

They are abnormal blood vessels that develop usually because there is an underlying medical problem- vein valve failure or “leakiness”. The underlying greater saphenous vein, that usually is the one that has the leaky valves, is sometimes used in open-heart surgery or arterial vascular bypass surgery. However, today, it is not commonly used as those operations have been replaced to a large extent by less invasive procedures using balloons and stents.

“ Varicose veins are just part of getting old as is my leg pain”

Although it is true that there is an increase in the incidence of varicose veins as one gets older (one study found that 75% of women over the age of 65 had venous issues), it is NOT a normal part of aging to feel heaviness, aching, or throbbing in the legs. It is important to go have those symptoms evaluated by a vascular surgeon as often it can be easily treated.

“Treatment of my varicose veins will lay me up for weeks”

Until about 15 years ago, the main treatment for varicose veins was a difficult procedure called vein stripping. This was generally done under general anesthesia, in a hospital where one was admitted, with two moderate sized incisions in the groin and at the ankle. It generally took patients several weeks to recover. The field was revolutionized by the introduction of endovenous ablation, which currently is an office procedure, done under local anesthesia where the patient usually has NO post-operative pain. Most patients return to all of their normal activities with 24-48 hours.

“You have to have bulging veins to have a vein problem”

Many patients who present with heavy, aching or swollen legs actually do not have bulging varicose veins but are found to have a problem on evaluation. In order to diagnose venous disease, it is important to have a VENOUS REFLUX ULTRASOUND. This is not the same as a vein ultrasound to look for blood clots that primary care doctors often order at hospitals. It is critical to have this test done at an ICAVL accredited laboratory as it is extremely technologist dependent. A good exam will take about 30 minutes per leg and will examine veins with the patient in a standing or head slanted up position from the groin to the ankle.