“ANYONE CAN DO VEINS” – RIGHT?
Written by Dallas Vein Specialists on October 3, 2018
A patient came into my office last week with the following story:
This woman, a practicing attorney, came to Dallas Vein Specialists for spider veins of both legs. She had no symptoms of venous disease such as aching or fatigue with standing and had no history of any enlarged or varicose veins. A few weeks before seeing me she went to a local office of a national vein clinic that frequently advertises on TV and radio. Her complaint was spider veins, again no symptoms and no bulging veins of either leg. A technician performed an ultrasound study on both her legs. Subsequently, she saw the physician, who told her that both legs contained veins which were not functioning properly and that a laser ablation procedure was indicated. The patient left to ponder what she had been told. Later she went back to see the doctor. She told him that she had found out that he was not trained as a vascular or vein specialists. He admitted that he was not a vein specialist, stating “Anyone can do veins.” The patient left and subsequently saw me.
After hearing this story, I performed an examination, which showed only some spider veins (telangiectasias) of both legs and no varicosities or swelling. Then I performed a thorough ultrasound study, which I always do myself. (There is no substitute for seeing things first hand as opposed to reading a report.) The ultrasound showed no evidence of abnormal veins or abnormal vein function in either leg. In other words, the veins in both her legs were completely normal. She had only a few small spider veins, which were easily treated.
For more than 12 years, I have focused only on vein problems and have seen many patients with many different presentations and findings. There have been numerous patients over the years that came in with a similar story to this patient, told that they needed surgery to treat veins that were in fact entirely normal. Fortunately for them these patients sensed that something was not right, and they sought a second opinion. I was glad that I could help them avoid an unnecessary operation. While outpatient vein operations are low-risk and serious problems are rare indeed, nevertheless, there are risks.
So back to that national vein clinic doctor’s statement, “Anyone can do veins.” It is no surprise that the best vein doctors are surgeons with large experiences over many years of treating many patients with differing presentations and manifestations of venous disease. This makes them vein specialists. These physicians also hold certifications that they have passed examinations and have demonstrated competency in the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. It may be true that anyone can do veins, BUT do it well and with the best interest of the patient in mind, only a vein specialist will do.
Important points to remember when seeking vein care:
- Be skeptical of advertisements and paid claims in the media
- Do your own research
- If you have doubts or concerns get a second opinion
- Look for a qualified vein specialist with certification and diplomate status by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine
- Find a vein specialist who is a surgeon with experience in treating vein problems