2016 Brian Wilson's Right Leg Problems




  Brian Wilson, age 49, male, 6'3" tall, 275 pounds.  Brian is CTO (Chief Technical Officer) of Backblaze, Inc an "Online Backup" company.

Primary Cary Physician:
  - Dr Michael Podlone, PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation).
    Dr Podlone has been Brian's primary care physician for 20 years (since 1996?).

Relevant History:
 - May 2004 had varicose vein surgery on right leg (Dr Jean Gillon, Redwood City - VNUS Closure)
 - July 2004 had first pulmonary embolism after grueling airplane flight (took Coumadin for a year)
 - August 2011 had second pulmonary embolism after airplane flight (started Coumadin for rest of life)
 - Ever since 2011 right leg gets progressively worse each year - discoloration and varicose veins get worse
 - June 22, 2017 - Dr Venita Chandra stripped Great Saphenous Vein as much as possible
 - June 23, 2017 - switched from Coumadin to Xarelto for the rest of my life

Pictures below taken May 8, 2016 (click on any picture for a gigantic zoomed in version):

Below is Brian's right leg showing varicose veins.  In RED I point out the surgery scar from my 2004 varicose vein surgery.  Remember you can click on the photo below to zoom in to see more detail.


In the picture below, I point out the same surgery scar for reference.  The picture below is of the back of my knee which has varicose veins bulging out of it in every which way.  The "dark freckles" on my lower leg are discolorations that have occurred since 2011 and get worse every year.


In the picture below you can see my right leg is severely discolored.  This has gotten progressively worse - most pronounced over the last two years.  At the center of the discoloration is a VERY dark area, that was an injury where I banged my shin several times on the same stupid flower pot at my house over the period of 3 months.  But it has not been injured in more than a year, this is completely "healed" now and the discoloration seems permanent.


In case it is interesting, below is a picture of my right foot and ankle.  The discoloration here is less permanent, I can "squeeze" any spot and get it to be pink. 


For comparison, the picture below is of my OTHER leg, my left leg, which is completely healthy and does not have a single varicose vein and no discoloration:


June 22, 2017 - SURGERY - Dr Venita Chandra stripped the Great Saphenous Vein.

I went home with a number of ace bandages wrapped around my leg tightly and left them on (as instructed) for the first 4 days.  At the end of the 4th day I unwrapped the ace bandage and took the first pictures (see below).

Below is a chart where the date is on the left, and two pictures (both of my right leg) are to the right of the date.  Click on any picture for a larger version.

June 26, 2017

(4 days after surgery)


NOTE 1: I added the "band aid" looking tan things because my leg was leaking blood and fluids from those spots.  After taking these pictures I wrapped the leg in gauze and then in the ace bandages.


NOTE 2: The pain was pretty bad, they gave me Vicodin which BARELY helped.  The pain peaked in annoyance at about day 7.  If I was laying down with my leg elevated I was almost pain free, but if I stood up (to hobble to the bathroom or bedroom) then over the next 45 seconds as the blood filled my leg it was scream obscenities out loud "11" on a 10 point scale unholy pain.  Then it would become a dull throbbing as I hobbled around.

July 2nd, 2017

(10 days after surgery)


NOTE 3: This was when the post-op instructions said the "Steri-strips" (little white strips) would come off.  I pulled most of them off easily myself, but left the ones over the most major incision you can see up along my groin.

July 6, 2017

(14 days after surgery)


NOTE 4: I have removed the final "steri-strips", and for the very first time when I wear clothing I don't need band aids and ace bandages to prevent the blood from leaking into my clothing.  


NOTE 5: About a day after these pictures were taken the pain FINALLY rounded a corner and radically diminished each day after.   You can also tell the bruising is quite diminished at this point.

July 13, 2017

(21 days after surgery)


NOTE 6: As you can see the bruising is almost 100% gone (this is three weeks post operation).  HOWEVER, where each pin-hole incision is, under the skin is a "lump" of scar tissue/healing that when I press it - it can hurt a bit.  At this point I still walked with a bit of a limp.


NOTE 7: The day after these photos were taken I flew to Hawaii on a vacation (cleared with my doctor to fly).  I was worried that my leg might swell on the flight, but I did NOT have to wrap it with an ace bandage and it was not painful at all on the 5 hour flight.  My doctor cleared me to get the leg wet but to be careful about infection.  (I did not swim in the ocean or snorkel.)

July 20, 2017

(28days after surgery)


NOTE 8: I no longer walk with a limp, and the pain is almost completely gone (maybe a few times a day I notice I need to change the position of my leg because of a very minor ache).  The "scar tissue/lumps" under most of the incisions has almost disappeared.  However, under the very largest incisions (my groin and a few others) there are still large healing "lumps" of clotted blood under there.


NOTE 9: The lower leg swelling I have had for the past 4 years (prior to surgery) seems to be MASSIVELY REDUCED.  (This makes me so happy!) 




Return to Random Stuff

Return to Ski-Epic home page.