Dating back to 1981, Jody Porsch of Gladwin was in-and-out of hospitals because of blood clots forming in the veins of her left leg. At one point, doctors even recommended amputating the leg, but Jody refused and braved a nine-day hospital stay to monitor her condition until she was cleared to go home.
“No one could tell me what was wrong with me,” says Jody. “They would just say it was superficial clotting and put me on blood thinners.”
In 2012, Jody was rushed to MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland when it was feared a clot might enter her lung. This was the fateful day that Jody met Dr. Omar P. Haqqani, MD, Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Vascular Health Clinics.
Dr. Haqqani was called in to insert an IVC (inferior vena cava) filter in order to prevent a life-threatening blood clot from traveling to Jody’s lung.
Three years later, Jody read some reports of IVC filters failing and sought a doctor who could advise her on whether she should have hers removed. Her search led her back to Dr. Haqqani.
“I knew he could help me,” says Jody. “I had complete confidence in him because I remembered how at ease he made me feel and how well he explained the procedure when he put it in.”
Dr. Haqqani informed Jody that he could help her, but he first needed to determine and address what was causing the chronic blood clotting in her leg.
After running some tests, Dr. Haqqani determined that a few things were ailing Jody. First, she was experiencing complications from varicose veins; this explained Jody’s reported difficulty with walking that dated all the way back to 1983. Second, Jody had May-Thurner syndrome.
The right and left iliac arteries split from the abdominal aorta at the spine and feed blood to the pelvis and legs. May-Thurner occurs when the right iliac artery compresses the left iliac vein, causing it to narrow and constrict. This increases the risk of developing blood clots in that extremity.
This congenital condition is more common in women than men and shows up more frequently in young women taking birth control medication, as women age, or as they gain weight.
“I had never heard of May-Thurner, but it explained what I had been dealing with for so long,” says Jody.
Dr. Haqqani informed Jody that he first wanted to surgically address her May-Thurner and varicose veins before he removed the IVC filter.
“I totally trusted his recommendation,” says Jody. “He took a lot of time explaining why he wanted to do something and what he would do. I could tell he really thought about it”
Over the course of a few visits to the clinic, Dr. Haqqani inserted a stent in Jody’s troubled vein to address her May-Thurner and also removed the varicose veins that were giving her such difficulty with walking.
“It was amazing. I didn’t feel a thing during the procedures and even talked to the doctor and listened to my favorite music while he was working on me,” says Jody.
With the ailments that were causing Jody such distress for so many years addressed, Dr. Haqqani then removed the IVC filter.
“Having the IVC filter out was the most glorious day of my life. I felt free!” says Jody.
Several months removed from her final procedure, Jody is walking pain-free and experiencing no more life-threatening blood clots in her leg.
“I could barely walk to my mailbox before I saw Dr. Haqqani,” says Jody, who now enjoys walking pain-free and being able to interact and play with her grandchildren.
“Dr. Haqqani has given me a quality of life I didn’t think I would ever have,” says Jody. “I can now truly live my life and enjoy the time I spend with my grandkids.”