Richard Gitter, MD, FACS
Gitter Vein Institute
One Galleria Boulevard Suite 100, Metairie
504-833-0111 | GitterVein.com
As a board certified cardiovascular surgeon, Richard Gitter, MD, FACS, was trained to understand and address the intricate details of the heart and blood vessels. After many years of working away as the Director of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery, Dr. Gitter returned to New Orleans to focus on treating one thing and one thing only. In 2012, he founded Gitter Vein Institute, a treatment center solely focused on the proper diagnosis and treatment of venous disease.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that occurs when valves in the leg veins fail to properly propel blood back to the heart. Common signs of CVI are varicose and spider veins, whereas common symptoms include swelling or heaviness in the legs and feet, pain and/or itching, restless legs, easy bruising, and potentially stained, leather-like skin around the calf and ankles. Since not treating CVI increases one’s risk of blood clots, bleeding, and skin ulceration, most insurance companies recognize the medical concerns and readily cover the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
“When venous blood flows in the wrong direction—away from the heart and toward the legs—, it creates pressure deep in your legs almost like a volcano,” says Dr. Gitter. “When that pressure is allowed to build over time, the veins create new branches, or pressure vessels, which go to the skin in an effort to relieve the excess pressure.”
When these pressure vessels reach the skin, they usually present as spider or varicose veins. These are only the smaller vessels that have surfaced, the “lava” from the volcano; they are not the problem. Rather, they’re a sign that a more significant problem exists with the valves and vessels deeper inside.
As a patient-focused, minimally invasive center, Gitter Vein Institute utilizes the most proven and innovative techniques to treat and cure venous insufficiency, varicose veins, spider veins, venous ulcers, and other peripheral venous abnormalities. Dr. Gitter emphasizes the need for proper diagnosis, which is accomplished through the proper and published ultrasound protocol for venous insufficiency. This must be done with the patient standing and properly positioned. After diagnosis, the treatments are performed in comfort of the office. The Institute’s modern and sophisticated technologies result in minimal recovery and no downtime.
Dr. Gitter is passionate about changing the patient care environment and making it patient-centered, comfortable, and friendly.
“By focusing solely on venous disease, our staff is highly specialized and knowledgeable creating the optimal setting for the best possible outcomes,” says Dr. Gitter. “It’s so gratifying to see a happy patient walk away feeling healthier and looking better.”