Returning to a Full Life with DVD and MTS

Melanie Holcomb, 46

My story starts after I had been sick in bed for ten days with a high fever. I am a busy mom with three kids and I did not take the time to go see my doctor. I just waited it out and was starting to feel a little better. I knew I was weak and dehydrated, but thought I would get well on my own. One day, I tried to get back into my routine but I felt a sharp pain in my leg all day, like I had pulled a muscle. That evening, I collapsed. My leg just went out from under me. My family had to help me get to a bed.

Deep Venous Disease (DVD)

We didn’t know what was happening or what to do. The skin on my leg was blotchy. I called my doctor. We thought it might be an allergic reaction. Within an hour there was significant swelling. It was getting worse so we went to the emergency room. By that time, I could not move my leg at all.

The skin on my leg was blotchy and there was significant swelling.”

Road to Diagnosis and Treatment

Deep Venous Disease (DVD)

When we arrived at the hospital, I was in a lot of pain. My leg was three times its normal size. They did an ultrasound and found a blood clot. I was given blood thinners and quickly transferred to a larger hospital. Once there, I found out that my vein had collapsed and I had a condition called May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS). The doctor theorized that during my illness I had gotten dehydrated enough to cause the blood clot and the clot triggered the MTS.

I went through a procedure to remove the clot, insert a filter and place a stent. The filter was later removed and the stent stayed in place to keep my vein open. It was an emotional time for me. I was anxious about my recovery but I received great support from family and friends. It took two months to get back to my normal activities. Now I can do everything I did before, but I have to take precautions like wearing compression stockings. I drink a lot of water and am more proactive about my health.

Deep Venous Disease (DVD)

My vein had collapsed. I had a condition called May-Thurner Syndrome.”

How Others Can Take the Step Toward Better Health

I think women, in general, we tend to be those super people that can do everything at all times and don’t really take time for ourselves. We just kind of charge ahead and keep doing what we’ve got to do. I would tell others to pay attention when something unusual happens and go see your doctor. Get it checked out and take care of yourself. Follow the advice of your doctor. Drink lots of water. These are simple things you can do to stay healthy and keep doing the things you want to do.

Deep Venous Disease (DVD)

Model for illustrative purposes only.


Standing Up to Deep Venous Occlusion

Deep Venous Disease (DVD)

Model for illustrative purposes only.

Michelle Copeland, 49

About four years ago, I started to develop a deep aching pain in both of my legs. Although both legs bothered me, the throbbing was more prominent in my left one. This continued as my legs became extremely sensitive to the touch – so much so that people would ask me if I were diabetic, even though I wasn’t. I became concerned and went to my doctor, but everything checked out normally. I assumed everything was just in my head.

But it wasn’t. Over time, my legs became so uncomfortable, that I was in pain just taking my dog for a walk. And then it started to become bothersome to go to the gym. I started getting a lot of leg cramps in the middle of the night, mostly on the left side. I remember waking up six times a night trying to make it stop.

But it didn’t get better. No matter how I tried to take care of my feet and legs, everything continued to worsen. My feet became so dry that I developed deep fissures. And in general, my health began to decline.

Emotionally, it was draining and I was anxious all the time. I thought “maybe I just have cancer”? Those self-defeating thoughts made me feel worse. And this was very difficult as I tried to remain a positive role model for my children.

Over time, my legs became so uncomfortable that I was in pain just taking my dog for a walk.”

Road to Diagnosis and Treatment

For more than two years, I went through a battery of tests. My primary care doctor at the time didn’t know what was going on. So, I was referred to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. And then to a neuropathy specialist and a podiatrist. With all the problems in my feet and the varicose veins that had developed over the years, I needed help. My podiatrist felt that I should consult a vascular specialist after visually inspecting my legs.

After all the doctors I had seen, I thought it would be a waste of my time. But what did I have to lose at this point? Why not take the step and do everything possible to get help?

When I saw the vascular specialist, she ordered an angiogram, a special test to visualize how blood was flowing in my legs. To my shock, she discovered my iliac vein (a deep vein located near my abdomen) was completely blocked. I was officially diagnosed with deep venous occlusion (DVO), a rare, yet serious condition where blood flow is obstructed in the leg.

Not only was this a shock to myself, but also to my mom and children. No one in my family had this type of vascular disease. I had never even heard of such a condition. Through my web searches and all my research, nothing like this ever came up. It was scary to know that this disease was behind all those years of terrible symptoms. Despite the rarity of the condition, I felt lucky that it was finally identified.

Within a few days of diagnosis, I was scheduled for a procedure where a small catheter was inserted into the vein and the doctor was able to visualize the blockage. The procedure was performed to remove the obstruction and a stent was placed, which allowed the blood to flow normally, as it should. Within 24 hours of the procedure, my symptoms were completely gone. It’s pretty amazing how that little stent can make so much of a difference!

Deep Venous Disease (DVD)

To my shock I was diagnosed with deep venous occlusion (DVO), no one in my family had this type of vascular disease.”

How Others Can Take the Step Toward Better Health

It’s been about 15 months since my procedure and I’m finally starting to feel normal again. I never thought it was possible after everything I went through.

But I am in this great place and so happy to share my story with others. For those faced with similar circumstances, I would encourage them not to give up. Even if you need to go to several doctors—take the step and get checked out thoroughly! Your health depends on it.

Sometimes what you read online isn’t always accurate and it doesn’t encompass every aspect of the disease. But a specialist can evaluate you thoroughly, provide resources for support, and appropriate options for therapy if you need it.

I’m grateful to now be in this position of positive health and I wish others the same on their journey to wellness.

Model for illustrative purposes only.

It was scary to know that this disease was behind all those years of terrible symptoms. I’m grateful to now be in this position of positive health and I wish others the same on their journey to wellness.”

More Patient Stories

PAD Stories

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Many PAD patients experience a gradual decline in activity level and quality of life which can go unnoticed for years. Learn about Joe’s suspicions and his perseverance to seek help.

Read Joe’s Story

CLI Stories

Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI)

Early intervention can be key for critical limb ischemia (CLI). Learn about Mark’s struggles and triumph to overcome CLI.

Read Mark’s Story

DVT Stories

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can strike quickly with little notice. Learn more about Reid’s condition and his road to recovery.

Read Reid’s story

Helpful Resources

PVD Doctor
Discussion Guide

Get helpful tips and advice on how to talk to your doctor about a PVD screening.

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DVD Brochure

Find out more information on DVD by downloading this helpful brochure.

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Third-Party Resources



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Robert Freedman

3311 Prescott Road | Alexandria, LA, 71301

Daniel Simon

347 Mount Pleasant Ave Suite 100 | West Orange, NJ, 7052

Daniel McDevitt

1035 Southcrest Dr, Suite 250 | Stockbridge, GA, 30281

Marvin Padnick

350 South 40th Street | Muskogee, OK, 74401

Patrick Mahon

87 McGregor Street | Manchester, NH, 3102

Jamie Strachan

1449 Old Waterbury Rd, Suite 101 | Southbury, CT, 6488

Aaron Aday

75 Francis St | Boston, MA, 02115

Russell Samson

600 North Cattlemen Rd | Sarasota, FL, 34232

Raghotham Patlola

5003 Hardy St, Ste 200 | Hattiesburg, MS, 39402

Bruce Brenner

200 S. Orange Ave | Livingston, NJ, 7052

Ernest Conti

3929 Mercy Drive | McHenry, IL, 60050

Sanjeev Trehan

6151 South Yale Ave Suite 1304 | Tulsa, OK, 74136

Tara Balint

2010 Health Campus Drive | Harrisonburg, VA, 22801

Stephen Bauer

1445 East Putman Ave, 1st Floor | Old Greenwich, CT, 6870

Deepak Nair

600 N Cattlemen Rd | Sarasota, FL, 34232

David Showalter

600 North Cattlemen Rd | Sarasota, Florida, 34232

Andrew Olinde

5131 O'Donovan Drive 301 | Baton Rouge, LA, 70808

Allison Barone

250 Engle Street | Englewood, NJ, 7631

Thomas Lutz

15 Tower Ct Suite 200 | Gurnee, IL, 60031

Mark Iafrati

800 Washington st | Boston, MA, 2111

Jerry Chen

2775 Laurel Street, Room 4203 | Vancouver, BC, V5Z1M9

Jonathan Bowman

495 Hawley Lane, Suite 2-A | Stratford, CT, 6614

Paul Vitulli

915 W Monroe St | Jacksonville, FL, 32004

Douglas Dorsay

600 North Cattlemen Rd | Sarasota, Florida, 34232

Carl Fastabend

501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive (3rd Floor) | Lake Charles, LA, 70601

Thomas Lee

131 Madison Avenue 2nd Floor | Morristown, NJ, 7960

Peter Swischuk

3109 Stirling rd. Suite 100 | Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33312

David Draughn, FACS, RVT, RPVI

15825 John J Delaney Dr | Charlotte, NC, 28277

Joe Viramontes

960 N 16th Street Suite 108 | Springfield, OR, 97477

Michael Sergi

75 Kings highway Cutoff, Suite 4B | Fairfield, CT, 6824

Manish Chauhan

2200 Park bend | Austin, TX, 78757

James Cunningham

8767 Perimeter Park Blvd | Jacksonville, FL, 32216

Nouri Al-Khaled

4400 W 95th Street, Suite 306 | Oak Lawn, IL, 60453

Cindy Sturt

200 S. Orange Ave | Livingston, NJ, 7039

Jesus Jimenez

2800 S Seacrest Dr. Suite 200 | Boyton Beach, FL, 33435

Andrei Pop

800 Biesterfield Road | Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007

Ediberto Soto-Cora

1139 Caper Rd | El Paso, TX, 79925

Kaveh Shahmohammadi

1449 Old Waterbury Rd, Suite 101 | Southbury, CT, 6488

Lori Pounds

7703 Floyd Curl Drive | SanAntonio, Texas, 78229

Alex Caballero

1879 Nightinglae Ln | Tavares , Florida, 32778

Thomas Levin

10837 South Cicero Avenue Suite 200 | Oak Lawn, IL, 60453

Leandro Perez

8188 Jog Rd. Suite 100 | Boyton Beach, FL, 33427

Jose Almeida

1501 S Miami Ave. | Miami Beach, FL, 33129

Saba Khan

800 Biesterfield Road | Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007

Jordan Knepper

5325 Elliot Drive, Suite 101 | Ypsilanti, MI, 48197

Jason Andre

12720 McManus Blvd, Suite 303 | Newport News, VA, 23602

Micheal Ayad

300A Faunce Corner Rd N | Darthmouth, MA, 02908

Yazan Khatib

Suite #160, FL, 32256

Santhosh Mathews

316 Manatee Ave W | Bradenton, FL, 34205

Patricio Rosa

601 N Flamingo Rd. Suite 408 | Pembroke Pines, FL, 33028

Akhilesh Sista

2315 Broadway 4th floor | New York, NY, 10024

Kathleen Gibson

1135 116th Avenue NE, Suite 305 | Bellevue, WA, 98004

James Sampson

101 Bodin Circle 60 SGCS/SGCH | Travis AFB, CA, 94535

Brian Heeringa

880 Munson Ave, Suite A | Traverse City, MI, 49686

Ravi Chandra

1920 SW 20th Place | Ocala, Florida, 34471

Vaqar Ali

7011 AC Skinner Parkway | Jacksonville, FL, 32256

David Burkart

4801 College Blvd | Leawood, KS, 66214

Asad Sawar

3010 E. 138th Avenue Suite 12 | Tampa, FL, 33613

Andrew Barleben

9434 Medical Center Dr. | La Jolla, CA, 92037

Gennady Geskin

6637 State Route 30 | Jeannette, PA, 15644

William Grande

8200 east Belleview Ave Suite 600e | Greenwood Village, CO, 80111

Jeffrey Carr

1783 Troup Highway | Tyler, TX, 75701

Vincent Digiovanni

Riddle Health Center 3, 1098 W Baltimore Pike, Suite 3308 | Media, PA, 19063

Ido Weinberg

55 Fruit St | Boston, MA, 02114

Dale Buchbinder

1212 York Road | Lutherville, MD, 31093

Paul Gagne

85 Old Kings Highway North | Darien, CT, 6820

Vasco Marques

3010 E. 138th Avenue Suite 12 | Tampa, FL, 33613

Scott Koss

725 American Ave | Waukesha, WI, 53188

Janardhan Srinivasan

2232 Wilborn Avenue | South Boston, VA, 24592

Steve Lin

1401 Harrodsburg Rd Ste A300 | Lexington, KY, 40509

Kais Yehyawi

6375 W US 6 | Portage, IN, 46368

Diego Hernandez

43700 Woodward Avenue, Suite 207 | Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48302

Deepak Sudheendra

3400 Spruce Street | Philadelphia, PA, 19104

Fuad Rafidi

23101 Sherman Place | West Hills, CA, 91307

Thomas Kerr

19189 N Dale Mabry Hwy | Lutz, FL, 33548

Hesham Fakhri

3010 E. 138th Avenue Suite 12 | Tampa, FL, 33613

Aaron Hurd

630 13th Street Suite 250 | Augusta, GA, 30901

Sunil Rayan

9850 Genesee Ave | La Jolla, CA, 92037

David Lipski

6420 Dutchmans Pkwy Suite 180 | Louisville, KY, 40205

Rias Ali

4740 Mile Stretch Drive | Holiday, FL, 34690

Jed Peterson

10123 SE Market Street | Portland, OR, 97216

Constantino Pena

8900 North Kendall Drive | Miami, FL, 33176

Zahi Nassoura

2710 Alameda Ave | Burbank, CA, 91505

Nader Chadda

6633 Forest Ave Ste 302 | New Port Richey, FL, 34653

Richard Ofstein

8075 N Shadeland Ave Ste 200 | Indianapolis, IN, 46037

Robert Davies

1301 Sigman Road, NE Suite 130 | Conyers, GA, 30012

Elizabeth Brooke Spencer, MD, FSIR

8200 east Belleview ave Suite 600 E | Greenwood Village, CO, 80111

Mazen Abu-Fadel

825 NE 10th St #2500 | Oklahoma City, OK, 73104

David Frankel

10666 N. Torrey Pines Rd. | La Jolla, CA, 92037

Patricia Thorpe

333 W Thomas Rd, Suite 207A | Phoenix, AZ, 85013

Peder Horner

1746 Cole Boulevard | Lakewood, CO, 80401

Fuad Rafidi

2710 | Burbank, CA, 91505

Gene Tanquilut

20060 Governors Drive Suite 102 | Olympia Fields, IL, 60461

Kannan Natarajan

8433 Harcourt Rd. Suite 100 | Indianapolis, IN, 46260

Charles Ross

95 Collier Road NW Suite 5015 | Atlanta, GA, 30309

Windsor Ting

1468 Madison Avenue or 1190 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY, 10029

Dev Mangalat

705 Jesse Jewell Parkway 125 | Gainseville, GA, 30501

Arun Jagannathan

23120 South LaGrange Road | Frankfort, IL, 60423

Michael Flisak

3231 South Euclid Avenue, Suite 207A | Berwyn, IL, 60402

Shahin Pourrabbani

3680 Imperial Highway | Lynwood, CA, 90262

Joe Viramontes, MD

960 N 16th Street | Springfield, OR, 97477

Blaine Borders

102 Thomas Rd. Suite 205 | West Monroe, LA, 71291

Pat Neville

4600 Memorial Dr. Suite 240 | Belleville, IL, 62226

Charles Wyble

61 Witcher Street, Suite 2100 | Marietta, GA, 30060

David Gillespie

363 Highland Ave | Fall River, MA, 2720

Polly Kokinos

2255 S. Bascom Avenue #200 | Campbell, CA, 95008

Howard Roth

23120 South LaGrange Road | Frankfort, IL, 60423

Anthony Avino, MD, FACS

4750 Water Avenue, Suite 500 | Savannah, GA, 31410

Murat Sor

3833 Fairfax Drive | Arlingston, VA, 22205

Mahesh Raju

3825 highland ave | downers Grove, IL, 60515

Kenneth Wright

19189 N Dale Mabry Hwy | Lutz, FL, 33548

Rick Coats

4600 Memorial Dr # 240 | Belleville, IL, 62260

Sendhil Subramanian

7130 Mt. Zion Blvd, Suite #10 | Jonesboro, GA, 30236

Richard Pin

363 Highland Ave | Fall River, MA, 2720

James McPherson

4644 Lincoln Blvd. Suite 500 | Marina del Rey, CA, 90292

Ben Marson

85 Old Kings Highway N, 1st Floor | Darien, CT, 6820

E. Jerry Cohn Jr., MD, FACS

4750 Water Avenue, Suite 500 | Savannah, GA, 31410

George Hemstreet

100 Rice Mine Road Loop | Tuscaloosa, AL, 35406

Harold Tabaie

18905 Sherman Way | Reseda, CA, 91335

Alberto Gonzalez

19189 N Dale Mabry Hwy | Lutz, FL, 33548

Ayaz Malik

1035 Bellevue Ave #500 | St. Louis, MO, 63117

Isabel Newton

200 W Arbor Dr. | San Diego, CA, 92103

Michael Ayad

363 Highland Avenue | Fall River, MA, 2720

Jozsef Lukacs

24800 S.E. Stark St. | Gresham, OR, 97030

Timothy Manoni

85 Old Kings Highway N, 1st Floor | Darien, CT, 6820

Larry Horesh, MD

4750 Water Avenue, Suite 500 | Savannah, GA, 31410

Amiel Moshfegh

11411 Brookshire Ave | Downey, CA, 90241

Lev Pukin M.D

2560 Ocean Ave | Brooklyn, NY, 11229

Parag Patel

6633 Forest Ave #300 | New Port Richey, FL, 34653

Hoang Nguyen

2 Good Samaritan Way Suite 220 | Mt. Vernon, IL, 62864

(Charles) Daniel Procter

725 Jesse Jewell Parkway #125 | Gainesville, GA, 30501

Michael Naumann

7777 Alvarado Road, Suite 108 | La Mesa, CA, 91942

Stephen Lalka

1001 Blythe Blvd., Suite 300 | Charlotte, NC, 28203

Taras Kucher

495 Hawley Lane, Suite 2-A | Stratford, CT, 6614

Junyang Lou

520 Medical Center Drive | Medford, OR, 97504

Michael Lepore

600 North Cattlemen Rd | Sarasota, FL, 34232

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The opinions and clinical experiences presented herein are for informational purposes only. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient specific attributes and related factors. Dr. Raghu Kolluri has been compensated by Philips for his services in preparing and providing this material for Philips further use and distribution. The patients featured on this page are not patients of Dr. Kolluri.

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