Patient Vein Experience Story: Catherina Ragin — Leg Ulcer Sufferer No More

Recently, at the Clear Lake open house, Hamilton Vein Center patient, Catherina Ragin, shared her vein disease experience story.

Catherina Ragin sharing her vein experience journey at the Clear Lake Open House
Catherina Ragin sharing her vein experience journey at the Clear Lake Open House

We want to share it with you because it’s a story Ms. Ragin wants people to know in hopes it will save others from the unnecessary suffering she endured that culminated with an unsuccessful skin graft to “cure” the leg ulcers she lived with for five years.

Sadly, Ms. Ragin’s story isn’t all that uncommon.

It begins in the most advanced part of the story (and of her vein disease) – when she developed leg ulcers five years ago. Ms. Ragin’s ulcers, despite numerous topical treatments, never would respond and close.

It was decided she undergo a split thickness skin graft in which a plastic surgeon used skin from her thigh to cover the ulceration. Much to everyone’s consternation, only 25% took. Obviously with Ms. Ragin being the most disheartened. “I was devastated,” she said at the open house.

After this she was referred to a cardiologist who examined her and ordered a CT scan. The scan evaluated her arteries and DEEP veins of the legs. No problems were noted. The cardiologist declared Ms. Ragin a very healthy person with no significant cardiac disease. Her superficial veins (where vein disease occurs) were not evaluated.

According to Clear Lake PA Ellen Mercado, who has treated Ms. Ragin, only some cardiologists recognize the level of disease that superficial veins can cause and recommend patients for treatment.

The turning point came when Ms. Ragin returned to her wound care specialist who told her she had heard good things about Hamilton Vein Center. Despite being very skeptical, Ms. Ragin made an appointment with Dr. Hamilton in Sugar Land.

“When I came in for my consultation, I told Dr. Hamilton I was very skeptical and he was so optimistic and nice. The whole staff was,” Ms. Ragin noted. Dr. Hamilton assured her he understood her skepticism – skin grafts are not pleasant experiences and to have it not be effective must certainly be devastating. He also explained how he was very certain that her problems were due to problems with her veins directly under the skin – the superficial veins. The ulcers had formed due to congestion of blood in the area because the blood flow was refluxing. The advanced stage of her vein disease caused the graft to not work – because refluxing veins make healing very difficult and slow.

Initially, Dr. Hamilton performed a radiofrequency ablation of the saphenous veins and of the perforating veins directly under the ulcer. Within the first eight weeks of treatment her ulcers had noticeably shrunk. Ms. Ragin has received subsequent ultrasound guided sclerotherapy and treatment follow-ups at HVC Clear Lake – which is right in her neighborhood.

Ms. Ragin at the Hamilton Vein Center – Clear Lake open house
with Dr. A.J. Valenson and Ellen Mercado

Her ulcers are now completely closed and healed. And we’re happy to report that Ms. Ragin contacted us to let us know that she has been released by her wound care doctor after five long years.

That’s what we call a vein treatment success story!

Hamilton Vein Center is the leader in advanced vein condition diagnosis and treatment. No matter what stage of the vein disease, today’s minimally invasive vein treatment procedures end vein pain, discomfort and embarrassment. We treat everything from spider veins and problem varicose veins to the most advanced conditions such as venous dermatitis and leg ulcers.

If you are experiencing any problems with your legs, call 281-565-0033 to schedule your consultation and screening. It could be underlying vein disease that’s causing you pain and discomfort. It is very treatable. Treatment is very effective. There is hope. We can help.