Sheila Coogan, MD, FACS with UT Physicians Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UT Health Science Center at Houston successfully hosted a free varicose vein consultation event last month. Houston community members concerned about varicose or spider veins in their legs received a no-cost screening on the morning of Saturday November 10th at the UT Physicians Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery – Bellaire clinic.
“The screenings are being offered to the Houston community at no cost in an effort to assess, educate and prevent peripheral arterial disease,” said Dr. Coogan., the clinic’s vein specialist and an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
The screenings/consultations typically take 20 minutes, and are painless. Appointments for the event were scheduled by calling 713-500-VEIN (8346). Not limited to unsightly varicose veins, Dr. Coogan was also able to check for other vascular issues as well.
It is estimated that one in five adults will get varicose veins. Factors contributing to varicose veins include a person’s lifestyle, activity level, genetics, occupation and age.
In addition to being a medical issue, varicose veins can make people feel self-conscious. For example, some people quit wearing shorts or skirts. Others avoid activities such as swimming. Varicose veins can also be painful.
While recommended for everyone, the screenings are particularly important for tobacco users, women and individuals with a family history of varicose veins. Other warning signs of varicose veins include aching legs, swollen ankles, spider veins, numbness or tingling in toes, discoloration in legs and snake-like visible veins in legs.
Coogan, a 1991 graduate of McGovern Medical School, specializes in minimally invasive procedures. She has published numerous articles on vascular surgery.
— Rob Cahill and Caliann Ferguson