Big Ten College Official Scores with Leg Vein Procedure

For severe varicose vein sufferers, walking short distances can be painful, but can you imagine running on a football field for three-and-half hours?

William "Bill" LeMonnier of Tinley Park can.

The 62-year-old retired assistant school superintendent gets plenty of running in during the college football season. He's a Big 10 referee who has made a second career out of officiating big college games.

Except for the occasional aches and pains that come with a strenuous workout, the very physically fit Bill keeps up with athletes young enough to be his grandchildren.

But three years ago, he developed a throbbing pain in his left shin that he just couldn't shake.

"I felt like somebody had kicked me," he recalls. "It was really difficult with all the running we had to do."

Though he managed to complete the 2008-09 season with the help of ibuprofen to mask the pain, Bill couldn't ignore it any longer.

"I thought maybe I'd pulled a muscle or had shin splints, so I had it checked out," he explains.

Following a screening procedure, Bill was told his pain was from varicose veins. The enlarged veins had faulty valves that were causing blood to pool in his lower leg, which were in turn pressing on a nerve and causing pain.

With the mystery solved, Bill underwent a procedure known as laser vein ablation at the Ingalls Vein Clinic in Tinley Park.

"Nearly half of Americans over age 50 have some venous insufficiency, which occurs when the valves in the leg veins have become damaged and do not return blood to the heart and upper body normally," explained Interventional Radiologist Thomas Aquisto, M.D. "Congestion or dilatation of the veins results in swelling of the legs and may cause varicose veins."

"Laser vein ablation is an outpatient treatment that suits today's busy lifestyles," Dr. Aquisto added. "After the procedure, a patient can literally walk out of the office and resume normal activities after a few days to a week."

Bill had the procedure in July 2009 and by the start of the fall football season a month later, he was back on the field, officiating games.

This past January, Bill, who works about a dozen games a season, officiated the Bowl Championship Series final game in Glendale, AZ, in which Auburn beat Oregon, earning their first national title since 1957. He also had the thrill of officiating the 2007 Fiesta Bowl when the Boise State Broncos beat the Oklahoma Sooners 43-42 in overtime.

"I haven't had any pain at all in my leg," he added. "It's a great procedure."

To see if you are a candidate, call the Ingalls Vein Clinic at 708.915.7518.

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