When you’re on your feet all day like Dan Kraft, the health of your legs can be pretty important. Kraft has been dealing with varicose veins for most of his adult life, and earlier this year, he decided to have them removed.
“I’ve been on my feet since (age) 14. I wouldn’t know what to do if I had a sit-down job. I couldn’t do it. I’d be antsy. So I’m always on the go,” said Kraft, the owner of Butcher Block Meats in Mandan, North Dakota.
“I just knew I wanted to get them done before I was getting any older. And the reason why I was putting it off is because my lifestyle, I didn’t want to be laid up where I couldn’t go boating or ride the motorcycle.”
Reasons for vein removal
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that no longer function properly in helping push blood back to the heart. They can be painful for some patients and unsightly for others. Dr. Michael Jundt of Sanford Health Bismarck helps to remedy those issues for patients in need.
“They can be kind of unsightly for patients, but more importantly, they can be itchy or painful,” said Dr. Jundt, a vascular and interventional radiologist with Sanford Health. “They can clot intermittently, which can lead to thrombophlebitis or inflammation. And they can be associated with heaviness or pain in the legs, especially at the end of the day.”
Removing the veins does not have any harmful effects on the body, and can oftentimes improve circulation since the varicose veins are not functioning normally. While Kraft himself was not experiencing pain in his legs, he did decide to have the surgery done for cosmetic reasons.
“I just didn’t like the way my legs looked and I always was complimented that I had nice looking legs until it started getting the varicose veins,” said Kraft.
A simple procedure
But whether it be for cosmetic reasons or relieving pain, the procedure itself is a simple one.
“Most people do very well,” said Dr. Jundt. “Some people will have some soreness at the site, but the typical recovery is just a few days, and people are back up to doing activities that they did before. And oftentimes more activities now that their symptoms are better.”
For Kraft, who had a similar procedure more than a decade ago, this was one last surgery on his veins that would help him feel better not just about standing all day at work, but about the time he spends on his hobbies as well.
“I’m on the bike. I love my yard work and I do a lot of Christmas decorations. So I actually even started that already. … I love my yard. I have two acres north of town and we’re on the water. So that’s my leisure. And then my getaway is being out on the boat.”
For a busy guy like Kraft, varicose vein removal was just what the doctor ordered. He can now be on his feet, helping his own customers with their needs without worrying about his legs at all.
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