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Marlene Chaisson Story

Oh YES, there will be dancing…thanks to the experts at The Vascular Care Group

North central Massachusetts is home to 78-year-old Marlene Chaisson, whom friends and family have always referred to as the energizer bunny.  Now retired, Marlene worked for many years as an account manager and enjoyed a second career working in the fitness industry.  According to her, “I’m not happy unless I’m up and about and I believe wholeheartedly that the more we move, the healthier we will be!”

Marlene has always remained active, enjoying activities like 2–3-mile walks and hikes, riding her road bike for 10-30 miles depending on the day, and walking in the sand at the beach.  However, when she began to notice that the activities she loved so much became more challenging, she knew she needed to seek medical advice.  It was spring 2010 when she first encountered Dr. Hoenig.  The team, including the outstanding RVTs, noted that Marlene’s veins were very small, and therefore not an ideal candidate for a bypass at this time.  The decision was made to proceed with an endovascular option for her and she subsequently underwent a stent placement, the first of what would be three in the coming years, to restore the blood flow in her leg.

Life went on until this past year when Marlene says, “While on a long-planned trip to visit my daughter in Germany, I realized that I was no longer able to even enjoy basic sightseeing activities and felt like I was slowing everyone down.  The stent procedures were no longer giving me lasting results.”

There was constant pain.  Marlene described that she could not walk more than a few steps without her leg feeling extremely tight, she lost almost all circulation to her feet and toes so those were painful and swollen and had to sleep with her leg hanging down off the bed for any relief, so she was barely getting any sleep.

After a visit back to Dr. Hoenig it was determined further intervention was needed and on July 27th Marlene underwent a femoropopliteal bypass with an artificial graft to circumvent the narrowed artery in her right leg.  This process illustrates why board-certified vascular surgeons should be the only ones treating peripheral artery disease; with so many “tools in the toolbox,” all options remain on the table as opposed to other specialties which do not have the surgical option available and would have continued to attempt temporary endovascular “fixes.”

Marlene said she felt relief within a week after the procedure and returned confidently to her normal activities about 2 weeks post-op. She said, “I still have some discomfort and there is a section near my ankle where I have a little numbness which I am hopeful will come back to normal.”

She is so happy she decided to have this procedure and said, “I’ve been able to take walks, climb stairs and ride my road bike without pain.  I was even able to dance at my great nephew’s wedding.”

Marlene is grateful to the TVCG team and added “Dr. Hoenig and his entire staff have been so supportive, and I would highly recommend his office and expertise to get you back to doing everyday movement if you are having difficulties.”