Shannon Adams awoke that crisp January morning in 2018 with severe pain. Her left leg appeared to be twice the size of her right one. She recalled running down a hill the day before but really couldn’t pinpoint a specific incident that could be causing such agony.
As a registered nurse, Shannon knew she needed to seek medical attention promptly, and her fiancée, Mark Brown, drove her from Hochatown, OK, to CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System Emergency Department. She was admitted to the hospital, and diagnostic testing revealed she had three blood clots or DVTs in her left leg. The hospitalist overseeing her care consulted Jeffrey DeCaprio, M.D., vascular/endovascular surgeon.
“I was very frightened,” Shannon said. “I knew if the clots had broken off and caused an embolus, I would have died. But when Dr. DeCaprio walked in the room, I was relieved and confident he would help me take care of my issue. As a nurse who worked in the home health field, I had helped care for patients who had clots and vascular disease treated by Dr. DeCaprio, and their outcomes were always very good."
Dr. DeCaprio outlined treatment options, and Shannon chose the “surgical” route because she wanted to get back to her active lifestyle as soon as possible. The surgeon performed a minimally invasive procedure called mechanical thrombolysis using the new technology of an AngioJet™ with the assistance of a venogram where a special catheter is inserted into the vein, allowing him to visualize the inside of the vein and dissolve the clots.
“This new AngioJet™ technology provides the surgeon with extremely accurate information to treat obstructing venous problems with various options including stenting,” Dr. DeCaprio explains. “In fact, now, even patients with chronic venous disease who had been told there was nothing else to offer them, have hope.”
Shannon received a small incision behind her knee, where the catheter was inserted for her procedure. “My recovery went great,” Shannon reports. “I only had a week or so of complete downtime – recovery time was minimal. I’m back at work with no swelling, no numbness, no pain, no problems. I can run three flights of stairs if I need to again, and I can climb any hill I want to climb.”
While Shannon no longer practices nursing, her life in Hochatown is certainly still physically demanding. She helps manage 17 cabin rentals, owns her own cleaning company, and even lends a hand to her fiancée, who builds cabins.
“This was an amazing procedure performed by an amazing doctor,” Shannon says. “We are blessed to have this new technology and to have Dr. DeCaprio in this area. You can’t find a better vascular surgery even in a large metro area.”
Are You a Candidate for This New Procedure?
- Patients with painful varicosities or leg swelling and discoloration or ulcerations
- Patients who have had DVT (blood clot) in the past or have had varicose veins treated by laser therapy yet still have problems