Tom Tran knows a thing or two about perseverance. In 1979, at age four, he and his family escaped from Vietnam by boat. After being shipwrecked on an island for a year, they were rescued and brought to the United States with the help of the Catholic Church. Those early years of struggle encouraged Tran to always strive for success.
“I worked my way through college, eventually going on to nursing and Physician Assistant school,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to help people and I’m grateful that’s what I’m able to do now.”
Today, Tran is a Physician Assistant and runs Comprehensive Vein Center in The Villages with business partner Mike Richards, also a Certified Physician Assistant. The long time friends and colleagues work under the medical direction of Dr. Yvonne Duffe, D.O., a family practice physician based in Ocoee. Duffe, who has more than 20 years of medical experience, supervises and ensures the oversight of patient care at the Comprehensive Vein Center. She’s quick to point out that she believes the center is supplying a great service to the people of The Villages and the surrounding area.
But we have to go back a few years to find out what brought everyone to Lake County. It was while working in trauma and vascular surgery that Tran invented a medical device that is now widely used throughout the U.S. and beyond.
The Trans-Catheter Extractor® is a simple and effective cost-saving instrument that assists physicians in removing patients’ tunneled catheters without using sharp instruments and eliminates the need for sutures. FDA approval for the extractor came in 2007.
“I often removed a patient’s catheter through surgery,” Tran says, “This device allows for less down time for the patient and takes them out of the operating room and into the doctor’s office.”
The excitement generated by Tran’s invention left him nostalgic for treating patients, and he made the decision to return to practicing medicine.
These days, Tran and Richards spend their time educating patients on the medical options available to them in dealing with their leg vein issues.
“Patient education is extremely important,” Tran says. “Our patients are actively involved in their care.”
“Patients benefit from the fact that we only deal with vein-related issues,” Richards adds. “Instead of being a jack of all trades, we’re becoming mas-ters in the area of veins. Because of this, we are abreast of the latest treatment options and technological advances used to treat vein issues.”
(L–R): Mike Richards, Crystal Howell, Penny Howell, and Tom Tran.
As a testament to the level of service provided at Comprehensive Vein Center, one long-time patient who recently moved to Georgia, continues to make the 536-mile (one way) trip to The Villages to maintain scheduled appointments. After working on her feet year after year, her legs were paying the price.
“My legs not only looked bad, but I suffered 24/7,” she says in a letter. “I feel I am receiving the best possible treatment at Comprehensive Vein Center. The results I’ve experienced have far exceeded my expectations.”
Named the 2007 Physician Assistant of the Year for the state of Florida, Tran understands that vein issues can be difficult for patients to deal with.
“Varicose veins can be dangerous,” he says. “They can swell, causing pain and heaviness, and they can even ulcer. We can take care of them not only by eliminating any medical concerns, but by making our patient’s legs more attractive, thus improving self-esteem.”
The VenaCure procedure, a quick and non-invasive way to rid patients of varicose veins, can be done with practically no pain and the re-sults are impressive. Using a local anesthetic, a catheter is inserted into the vein and a laser seals off the unnecessary saphenous vein that sup-plies blood to the surface veins. Once this vein is no longer supplying the blood, the swollen surface veins begin to retreat.
“By eliminating the saphenous vein, we create a permanent fix,” Richards says.
He adds that ultrasound-guided scleratherapy is also used in the treatment of bumpy varicose veins.
If spider veins are the issue, simple sclerotherapy is an easy, pain-free procedure to consider. Fortunately, the professionals at Comprehensive Vein Center offer all patients a free consultation, not to mention two free sclerotherapy sessions if that’s the desired route of treatment.
“There are a lot of contributing factors to leg vein issues, including obesity, pregnancy, genetics, high heels, and excessive standing,” Tran says. “No matter the underlying cause of your problem, we can help.”
Comprehensive Vein Center
1501 US Hwy 441, North Suite 1404