Joan Landon, Vascular Surgery

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Joan Landon was walking from the beach to her Florida condo in the spring of 2010, when a vein in her leg ruptured. She had planned to gather her snorkeling gear and head for open water. Instead, Joan spent the afternoon with emergency personnel who worked to treat her damaged vein.

Joan, 64 of St. George, Vermont, has lived with varicose veins for years. At age 22, with two young children at home, she underwent a vein-stripping procedure to help ease fatigue and discomfort.

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A former teacher, Joan stayed active by ascending three flights of stairs to her middle school math classroom during the week -- and working in her yard on weekends. Her job often involved field trips and outings designed for active teenagers, which Joan happily joined.  She also enjoyed waterskiing, biking and hiking with friends and family.  But over the years, the condition worsened.“It wasn’t a problem of pain for a long time,” said Joan, although she eventually stopped riding her bike and found she was getting tired more easily during the day. 

At the urging of her husband and her sister, who is a nurse, Joan decided to seek treatment.  She met with Julie Adams, M.D., Fletcher Allen vascular surgeon and associate professor of surgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, who diagnosed her with venous insufficiency with varicose veins.

While the valves in veins normally keep blood flowing forward so it doesn’t collect in one place, valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing, causing blood to pool and enlarge the vein. Dr. Adams performed a surgical procedure known as “stab-ligations,” where the damaged veins are extracted or tied off through minuscule incisions, with minimal scarring.

Today, Joan couldn’t be more pleased with the results, and credits her surgeon for her quick recovery.  It took her three days to recover, and about a month to get back to gardening and mowing the lawn.  She’s once again hiking and biking, and looks forward to spending winters in Florida with her husband.

Joan is grateful to have access to the quality of care she experienced with Dr. Adams and her staff. “It’s critical for Vermonters to have access to a place like Fletcher Allen,” she said.