Gitter Vein Institute
Gitter Vein Institute is a patient focused, minimally invasive surgery center that utilizes the most proven and innovative radiofrequency techniques and other modalities to treat and cure abnormalities associated with the peripheral venous system. The institute was created six years ago by Dr. Richard Gitter, who is board certified in both General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgery and a member of many organizations, including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, International Society of Endovascular Specialists, Society of Baylor Surgeons, Muller Surgical Society, and Vein Experts.
Dr. Gitter has more than 18 years experience in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery and has spent his entire career treating blood vessels and vascular disease. The Gitter Vein Institute in New Orleans offers patients a new type of medical environment. At GVI, the patient always comes first and in a calm, comfortable, and relaxing environment.
One of the most common vein conditions that Dr. Gitter diagnoses and treats is venous insufficiency. Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) occurs when your leg veins don’t allow blood to flow properly back up to your heart. Normally, the valves in your veins make sure that blood flows in one direction toward your heart. But when these valves don’t work well, blood can also flow backwards (due to gravity). This can cause blood to collect (pool) in your legs and increases patients’ risks for blood clots, skin changes, skin ulcers, and bleeding. The most common reasons patients seek medical advice for CVI is the presence of varicose veins and/or spider veins.
Varicose veins are swollen, dark blue or purple blood vessels that often look like twisted ropes and usually appear on the thighs, calves, and ankles. Some patients with varicose veins do not experience any symptoms, but most will develop one or more of the following symptoms:
- Cramping and or pain
- Restless leg syndrome
- Tired legs
These symptoms may indicate the need for medical attention. Sometimes, however, more significant problems including bleeding, ulcers, blood clots, pulmonary embolus, and or death can occur if abnormal veins are left untreated.
Other symptoms of venous insufficiency include the spider veins that many people find unattractive and like to have treated. Though the veins may be visible on the skin and may seem unsightly, they are not actually the patient’s problem. “The problem is on the inside, where the pressure is,” said Dr. Gitter. “We don’t ever want to clean up the skin, without addressing the source of the problem. We don’t want to clean up the lava before addressing the volcano.” Because of the genetic component of this vein condition, there is no way to prevent the condition. “If you have the genes, you’re going to have it. The best way to control it is by early diagnosis and treatment,” said Gitter.
There are multiple treatment options available for spider veins. Dr. Gitter will recommend which of the most innovative modalities of spider vein treatment will work best for the individual patient.
Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is an advanced procedure that is used to eliminate the source of the abnormal pressure (ie the volcano) by passing a radiofrequency catheter directly into the vein. The device heats the abnormal vein, causing it to close. This procedure is performed using ultrasound guidance to ensure accurate delivery of the energy. RFA has many benefits:
- Safe, precise, effective and minimally invasive
- Performed in-office with local anesthesia
- Alternative to painful ligation and stripping
- The “Gold Standard” for treating varicose veins
- Minimal bruising
- Cost effective and often insurance reimbursable
- Procedure complete within 30 minutes
- Return to work immediately
Dr. Gitter says the institute’s “results are superb, and I think our results are superb because of our ability to properly diagnose patients.” Dr. Gitter elaborated on the diagnostic ultrasound process he uses at Gitter Vein Institute. “Patients need to be standing up for their ultrasound. It’s impossible to properly diagnose venous insufficiency unless the patients are standing up...the backflow of blood can only be properly identified with gravity. If they don’t get the proper diagnosis, then they won’t get the proper treatment. And if they don’t get the proper treatment, they won’t get the best and most durable outcome.”
If you believe you have any vein condition, the Gitter Vein Institute may be the solution for you.
At Gitter Vein Institute you will receive expert care from Dr. Gitter and his dedicated staff, who are committed to earning your trust. “Patient care comes first,” Dr. Gitter said, “the rest follows.”
For more information on the Gitter Vein Institute and their services, please call 504-833-0111 or visit www.gittervein.com.