From Despondent to Dancing: How Vascular Surgery Helped One UH Patient Get His Groove Back
This spring, 46-year-old LaBryan Swain of Elyria was experiencing excruciating pain that disrupted his life to the point that he could barely move. A three-to-four-inch scratch on his right ankle had grown into an open sore that just wouldn’t heal – even after comprehensive treatment at the Wound Care Center at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center.
“I was under the care of plastic surgeon Roland Reyes, MD, at the wound center, and he did an outstanding job,” said LaBryan. “I had a similar issue on my left leg that he was able to treat successfully.”
But when the wound on LaBryan’s right ankle worsened, Dr. Reyes suspected that the issue was the result of poor blood flow. “He told me that a new surgeon would be joining UH Elyria Medical Center shortly, and arranged for me to see him,” said LaBryan. “In fact, I was Dr. Constantinou’s second patient at the hospital.”
According to LaBryan, vascular surgeon Constantinos Constantinou, MD, of University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute took one look at his wound and said, “I know what the issue is, and I can correct it.” Based on Dr. Constantinou’s confidence and their interaction during that first appointment, LaBryan said that he instantly knew he was in good hands.
On May 17, Dr. Constantinou placed stents in the veins of LaBryan’s lower right leg, to improve blood flow. This enabled oxygen-rich blood to circulate to the skin around LaBryan’s wound, thus allowing it to heal.
Within two weeks of surgery, LaBryan was feeling so much better that he began walking around his neighborhood with family members, cooked meals (something he loves to do) and even danced at a friend’s birthday party in July. “Knowing the kind of pain I had been in, when I went to that party, I was so happy I just wanted to dance,” exclaimed LaBryan.
After additional hyperbaric oxygen therapy and multiple skin grafts, LaBryan’s wound is now completely healed. He wears compression socks on both feet to support his ankles.
“Absolutely everyone my wife and I encountered at UH Elyria Medical Center was wonderful,” said LaBryan. “At my last appointment at the wound center, I gave everyone hugs. Then, I walked over to Dr. Constantinou’s office to give his office manager, Leah, a hug.” He continued, “She was incredible, making sure that we had everything we needed. In all of my years, I’ve never received care like I did from the people at UH Elyria Medical Center. They truly made me feel like family.”