REALLY? Doctor Valentine Day


Don’t get me wrong, and I hope you won’t think poorly of me.  I know the doctor’s perspective is the right one, but sometimes you have to laugh.  And then reorient your thinking.

Case in point:  Recently we had a lovely Valentine’s dinner.  The good doctor took me to a chic restaurant nestled in a perfect spot.  We were able to enjoy seeing lights reflect off the river flowing beautifully by.  And we enjoyed a bit of time alone together, enjoying each other’s company in a rather elegant setting.  As we were leaving this picture perfect occasion, my doctor husband looked at me, as he took my arm lovingly.  I gazed tenderly up at him, expecting some profound words about our love and our years together.  He said:  “It’s really good to be able to see and walk.”  REALLY?!!?  Where did that come from?  Am I THAT old?! 

It’s good to be able to laugh at these things.  He then went on to elaborate about how he sees so many people struggling with health issues; that he realizes how fortunate we are to have good health.  It’s never far from him, because of his profession. 

Another example:  My husband sees so many terrible accidents in the Emergency Room so his perspective is correctly based upon safety first at all times, especially with his family.  No one has ever left our house without his words of caution:  Be careful, be careful,  be careful.  How can that be wrong or  funny?    Oh, but it can!  One time he called out after our children as they went outside to swing, “BE CAREFUL!”  The girls protested, “Daaaaaad, we are just outide the door on this slow moving swing.  There’s nothing to worry about!”    Not to be outdone, he responded with, “WATCH OUT FOR…uh,  MOSQUITOS!”    We’ve laughed about that for years.

But he is right, really.   Being careful  goes  right along with not taking good health for granted.  Accidents can take that away.  And each day, many people get that bad report that takes their well-being away.  As a doctor, he sees this daily, and that’s why  he has the outlook that he does.  And really, he is on to something.   

veins daffodils

Spring is not far…how did that random thought fit in?  It does:   We are experiencing some wonderful weather here and there,   sandwiched in between the last days of winter.  Enjoy these days!  Take the time to stop, look around at the beauty  and take pleasure in the blessings around us.  And remember, “Be careful,” and “it’s really good to be able to be able to see and walk.” 


One fine day, a friend unexpectedly dropped by with these cookies and a lovely planter filled with pansies as a birthday gift….a gift of love! I’ve never forgotten that happy day! And, I’ve enjoyed these each year at valentines. They make a nice big cookie that can be iced.

Beat together: one cup oil, 2 sticks butter, one cup sugar, one cup XXXX confectioners sugar, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, one tablespoon almond extract Add 2 eggs

Gradually add 5 cups flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Wrap the dough (or keep in the bowl and cover the bowl with tinfoil) and refrigerate overnight.

Roll out to about 1/4″ (or a little thicker?) and cut with desired cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 6-10 minutes. Watch them carefully and remove as soon as they begin to brown.

Cool.  Eat any cookies that are imperfect or too brown.

Unfrosted, these cookies are good with coffee and adults seem to love them, as they are not too sweet.

For valentines, I frost mine with Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting that I tint with red food coloring.



This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | February 8, 2019


A breakthrough in vein treatment means good news for you!


Amazing technology uses a medical adhesive delivered into the vein, causing diseased veins to close.  Simply put, the procedure glues the vein shut.   Dr. Fern was quick to receive training for this new, safe and effective treatment because he wants proven and real results for you.

The  gluing  substance used in the VenaSeal treatment  is  cyanoacrylate,  widely used as a medical tissue adhesive for the last 20 years.  Added benefits are that VenaSeal  has an antimicrobial effect against gram-positive organisms.   There have been no negative side effects seen in treatment trials and it is FDA approved.


This new treatment has been tested in a large trial comparing radiofrequency closures (thermal ablation)  with  VenaSeal  adhesive closures.    A recent controlled, randomized study (the VeClose United States Pivotal  Trial) demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of VenaSeal.  242 patients completed treatment in 2013 and close followup has shown that this gluing procedure is as effective as thermal ablation, with a 98% successful treatment rate.

Call today for your free consultation to see if VenaSeal is for YOU. 



This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | February 7, 2019


The moment had arrived. In the middle of all the Christmas gift giving, my daughter excitedly presented me with a package.   It was  the gift she and her two boys had picked out for me. I realized  the importance of the moment so I stopped amidst all the hustle and bustle to focus on the special gift. Pausing for a moment as I began opening the wrapping, I realized my youngest  grandson was trying to get my attention. He had evidently heard these words as he was around other people opening gifts so he said,

“I’ll give you a hint……,”



We all smiled adoringly into his little sweet face as we thought we would wait  for the hint. But before we could even register  what was happening,  he blurted out, “it’s a necklace!.” Some hint!!


Of course his older brother howled  that he had ruined the gift and the surprise.  I was working to overcome seeing his little face crumple as he didn’t understand what he had done wrong. It all turned out fine because there were several things in the box with the necklace hidden underneath so I was able to give the appropriate gasp of surprise.

This little guy’s “hint” has become a source of joy to us.  It’s something we will always remember.  Unwittingly, he “made a memory” for us.  Because it’s one of those cute little comments that remind us of his innocence. And sweetness.  So all we have to do is say to each other at any random moment, “I’ll give you a hint.“ And we immediately smile and have our spirits lifted.


It’s true for us today that a good word can “make our day.”  Just like it’s been true for thousands of years.  King Solomon said it in Proverbs:   “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”  No matter who the words come from!  But especially when they come from your grandson.

This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | March 5, 2018


Patient results can vary. Make sure you are in the success column! These are musts:

• Extremely high level doctor-patient relationship
• Accurate diagnosis of problem by Board Certified Physician
• Correct decision regarding proper treatment
• Skilled treatment technique from physician

Patient results from vein treatments can vary. Some patients will have immediate improvements in their symptoms and appearance while others will require multiple treatments. It is up to the doctor to communicate realistic expectations to the patient. Unfortunately, many times, this is not the case. It’s important to have a doctor who will take the time to explain all of the issues involved in your vein treatment, including

• Severity of the vein disease
• The healing process
• Whether you will have immediate improvement
• When you can expect to have complete cosmetic results
• Difference between large and small vein treatment
• Different types of treatments
• Whether you will need one treatment or multiple treatments
• Which treatments work for which vein problems

Patients can also get varied results if the underlying disease is not diagnosed correctly initially. Occasionally veins can fail to respond to treatment if there is an underlying abnormal vein present that has not been seen. The small veins will not improve until all of the major vein issues are treated. This is an example of how important a proper diagnosis is.


Dr. Fern’s patients are comfortable and extremely pleased with the amount of time he takes with them to make sure they are completely informed and comfortable with their treatment plan.  As well as his skill during their treatment and followup.   Come in soon — patients who wait longer and have more severe problems will generally need more treatments than a patient who seeks treatment early with a single vein issue.

This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | March 5, 2018


Usually, patients visiting their doctors have a list of complaints. Sometimes even written down, with a worried family member accompanying them. It’s an anxious time for patients, and my job is to offer help and hope.

Quite the opposite is another group of patients. These are the patients coming in for followup visits after vein treatments.  These people are full of goodwill, happily reporting how GOOD they feel.  This is one of the most gratifying experiences that a doctor can have:    seeing his patients dramatically improve and having a complete change in lifestyles as a result of treatment.

Last week we treated  such a patient.  I have been seeing him off and on since 2013.  He had the largest  varicose veins that we have ever seen in our practice and his life was almost completely dominated and  hindered by the nearly constant fatigue, heaviness and pain in his legs.  After 10 minutes of trying to do any kind of work, he would have to stop.  He had to plan all of his days’ schedules of activities around the leg symptoms from which he suffered.

But that was before!  What a different person he is today!   He dropped in for some touchup work and we  saw dramatic improvement in the way that he looks and feels.  He reports that this has completely changed his life and now he is almost unlimited in the activity he can do as a result of the varicose vein treatments.  It was great to talk with him and see his renewed zest for life.  It reminded us….

#1  It can take more than one treatment  to completely get rid of all of the severely diseased veins.  This is a good lesson to relay to other patients who  sometimes get discouraged  with their progress.

#2  Sometimes people think they are too old to get their veins treated.  This patient reminded us that varicose veins can be extremely symptomatic and  have debilitating symptoms, severely limiting even just everyday activities.  We are seeing positive results,  even in elderly patients.







This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | December 13, 2017


This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | December 13, 2017


This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | November 14, 2017


Newly approved vein treatments give our patients more choice, more insurance coverage and better cosmetic results.  New less invasive treatments continue to get FDA and insurance approval.   So our patients get more choice–to choose one treatment over another or a combination of treatments,  all to meet their specific needs.

 Thankfully, insurance coverage is catching up with advances in vein treatment so veins can be treated in multiple ways.   No longer a cookie cutter approach, but rather varied approaches–choosing one treatment over another or a combination of treatments,  all to meet specific needs.
New treatments are glue treatment. called Venaseal, and foam sclerotherapy. called Varithena.   Varithena works better in tortuous and branch veins.  Previously this non-invasive foam treatment was not not approved by insurance companies.  However, starting in January,  Varithena foam sclerotherapy in tortuous and  branch veins will be paid for under insurance so the patient can have more insurance coverage for their treatment.  Also starting in January, Venaseal, the new glue treatment, will have a code for insurance coverage.
These treatments have now picked up a new term in describing vein treatment:  non-thermal treatment.  Veins now can be treated both thermally or non-thermally to get a better result. Thermal treatments are laser treatment and radiofrequency heat treatment (Closure).  Non-thermal treatments are  Venaseal and Varithema (glue and foam).  Both thermal and non-thermal treatments will all lead to a better cosmetic result for the patient.
Call today to schedule a consultation to determine which treatment is best for you.  So many options enable Dr. Fern to tailor a treatment plan that will make you and your legs happy.

This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | November 14, 2017




This past week I got to reconnect with some high school buddies on a little beach trip.  We had so much fun catching up. It reminded me that…… 

Girlfriends are especially valuable to me as a doctor’s wife.   Enjoying the company of the girls can fill in the gap of, dare I say it, a missing husband.  Well, not really missing.  I’m fortunate he is always in town, but just not always able to be at home, 

So this little blog is a salute to GIRLFRIENDS!   

My first real girlfriend was unusual.  I had some lonely hours after school when my mother was teaching  piano, so I would run next door!  Oh, you think, how great–you had a little friend right next door.  But wait.  Not so fast with that assumption.   My friend?  A stay-at-home mom with two little baby girls!  An unlikely girlfriend for a 12 year old.  But she was a great friend to me: she made me feel that she loved and looked forward to our visits as much as I did!  I played with her kids, looked at fashion magazines with her and learned, not just to cook from her, but to LOVE cooking!  And she gave me some grown-up wisdom along the way.  

How about those girlfriends you shared when the kids were little?  That you talked to every day just to check in. During David’s surgical residency, I remember sitting on the floor, talking to a girlfriend, and feeding green beans to my first born as she came walking past. She had just discovered walking!  Our little condo was laid out so that she could walk in a circle – kitchen, den, dining room, hall, MOMMY- and she had fun walking that circle, over and over!  Every time she passed me, I handed her a green bean!  That was our dinner hour, minus daddy.  She learned finger foods and walking and had fun doing it—and I enjoyed her AND my girlfriend via the phone.  

I remember that as a starry eyed young thing, once married, I thought that husband/wife was the one and only relationship.   Forever pledging myself to this wonderful man, I forsook all others.  So later on, I couldn’t begin to  understand it when a group of women in our neighborhood invited me on a girl trip. I remember saying, “I enjoy being with these folks in the daytime, but when the sun goes down, I will be right here with my husband!”  Somehow the girls broke through this resolve. I’m so glad they did!   Beach trips let us set a leisurely pace if we wanted it or we could fill up the days with non-stop activity if we wanted that. Long bike rides together gave time for deep one-on-one conversations.    Nights were filled with laughter as we played games.   Oh,  how we laughed!  And talked!  And shopped!  Now that some of these friends have passed on, I treasure these happy times.   I wouldn’t trade them for anything!  

Girlfriends, be they your “best friend” when you’re in kindergarten, your high school buddies,  your friend you met at PTA and instantly knew that  you were kindred spirits, or that group at church, work or neighborhood, they are essential to our well-being. We know and count on the fact that our girlfriends have our backs.  I can’t even count the times my girlfriends came through:   showers, parties, meals, weddings, babies, beach trips, Africa trips, and  celebrations .  Most of the really big times in life were enriched by the love and effort that girlfriends gave. 



This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | October 17, 2017


Just this week, I have seen several patients with leg pain and swelling but no large visible varicose veins…….d3d66472-3d72-49ed-8a15-75bab12cd76a

Symptoms of leg pain and discomfort and swelling in the lower legs are often a diagnostic sign of damaged leg veins, even in the absence of visible varicose veins.  Patients frequently get used to the symptoms of heaviness, fatigue and aching and are not aware that having these symptoms is not normal.  Some large broken veins are deeper under the skin surface, so they are not visible.  Later on, the larger varicose veins will eventually appear as a raised varicose vein.

After the treatment, which is done in the office as a walk-in-walk-out-and-return-to-work-the-next- day procedure, the patient will notice an immediate improvement in their symptoms.  This changes their lifestyle and allows more normal symptom-free living.  This is one of the reasons that vein treatments are so satisfying to patients.  In fact, the satisfaction rate is 95%!

veins compression hose dog play

Remember, some patients have vein disease symptoms and don’t have noticeable varicose veins.  This can all be diagnosed easily in the office with ultrasound diagnostic scans.


Call today to schedule a simple 15 minute ultrasound diagnostic scan to make sure your leg veins are healthy.

David Fern, MD





This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | September 29, 2017