(Kansas City, MO, KS) – Overland Park, KS, was the strategic center of Dr. Ronnie G. Smalling's 100% veins-only treatment clinic, first of its kind in KC, run solely by an Interventional Cardiologist (IC). When he created the unique concept of a treatment clinic run by an Interventional Cardiologist with his vast vascular experience working and committed to the salvage of limbs, whether treating arterial or venous, but focused now solely on venous diagnostics, disease, and treatment. Across the US, Interventional Cardiologists specialize in cardiac and peripheral vascular disease. Their skillset is highly sought and in high demand, and there are less than 1,000 IC's practicing in the U.S. The majority of IC's work the majority of their days in the Catheter Laboratory, or Cath Lab.
The toll is enormous on these specialists who perform their procedures on their feet. Working while wearing heavy lead aprons to protect themselves as best they can, from the vast amounts of radiation they use in guiding them with a catheter to assist them navigating a patient's arteries, looking for blockages or conditions which block their normal blood flow. In previous years, the only way Cardiac Surgeons accessed a patient's arteries was through drastic measures of cracking the chest cavity. In more recent times, Interventionalists began treating patients by accessing arteries through a small incision in the groin and inserting (medical term, 'accessing') a thin guide wire catheter into the artery (medical term, 'endovascular'). This type of procedure could be carried out without heavy sedation by repairing the arteries via various mechanical tips and stents the catheter deploys.
Without proper blood flow into the legs and without proper blood flow back to the heart, patients are at risk for many health issues that are more troublesome than unsightly leg veins. Tissue dies without blood flow. Body heat drops in the lower limbs. For many with blood loss or compromise, amputation is the only option for avoiding infection, unless an Interventionalist is successful in repairing or restoring blood flow. Similar but also different when blood does not flow correctly and return to the heart, patients suffer all sorts of signs and symptoms. Although a majority of the blood is returning to the heart, the problem lies in the fact that only a majority percentage of the blood is flowing efficiently, and some blood flows backward. This regurgitating or reflux, with its flow settling or falling back with gravity, poses potential issues. It can cause all sorts of health problems at some point. In the early stages, few symptoms are noticed. But it is a disease and a disease a patient rarely recovers from health management wise. The medical resolution is to remove or shut off the veins that are diseased and dysfunctional and force the circulatory system to work more efficiently with the healthier veins deeper in the venous system.
Specialists who work in peripheral or legs spend much time working on patients' legs, which often even fellow Cardiologist's occasionally forget how vast the landscape is when compared to working to restore blood flow in the coronaries or heart. Think about it: through the groin, across the hips, and down the entire leg down to the toe. Then reverse and explore the opposite side.
So with such a large amount of time focused on treating patients, Interventionalists are in the Cath Lab performing peripheral arterial catheterization. Juggling which means the Interventionalist has to coordinate their other patients who have venous procedure needs. And balance their clinic time. Including, too, all the heart patients in need of intervention as well. Dr. Smalling decided to dedicate his practice to veins-only. He can be counted on to perform all venous reflux treatments, but he additionally serves to help referring physicians diagnose or rules out arterial disease and other Cardiology concerns. This approach is so unique in the Interventional Cardiology field today, where only 67 Interventional Cardiologists* have left the Cath Lab to focus solely on the venous outpatient setting while considering the patient's "whole vascular and heart" approach.
A patient's leg disease must be thoroughly evaluated from top to bottom and by evaluating the byways, both directions of blood flow and return. A patient receives this kind of unique focus when trusting IN VEIN to help them resolve or improve their venous leg symptoms keeping them from enjoying the life from yesteryear.
Trust your legs and everything to us at IN VEIN by Smalling Vascular Institute. You'll be jumping for joy like the past thousands of patients Dr. Smalling has impacted with a success rate that is next to none.