How To Choose A Vein Doctor
Written by Dallas Vein Specialists on November 9, 2011
Now that the techniques for treating vein problems have evolved such that they are easily accomplished on an outpatient basis with good results, more physicians are becoming interested in providing these services to the many patients who have limiting symptoms and/or cosmetic concerns. But herein lies a dilemma for patients. Many patients do their own research, frequently using the internet, to find competent doctors to treat their vein problems. Should the patient see someone who exclusively treats vein problems or someone who treats vein problems in addition to other diseases specialties, say perhaps a cardiologist or an OB/GYN specialist, who have primary clinical interests in areas far afield from vein disease? Should the patient seek a surgeon with vascular experience or feel secure with a dermatologist or a radiologist who also treat vein disease?
While the “occasional” vein doctor, i.e. one who primarily practices in a specialty other than phlebology (the study and treatment of vein diseases), may be able to handle the more common vein issues, he or she will not have the vast experience to draw on and will not be as adept in recognizing or treating appropriately the more uncommon or subtle vein problems as the physician who treats exclusively vein diseases. Will such part time vein practitioners recognize the pitfalls and complications that may occur?
My advice to someone looking for a vein doctor is to seek out a doctor who specializes in and treats exclusively vein problems.
Next in consideration is the question of whether the vein doctor should have a surgical or nonsurgical background? Although I am sure many would disagree, I believe that the surgeon, especially one with a vascular surgery background, is best prepared to handle whatever may arise in treatment. Surgeons in general have greater manual prowess, and if a more invasive operation, such as tying off and dividing a vein well below the skin level, is required, the surgeon surely has in his training and experience a clear advantage over the radiologist, dermatologist, general medicine physician, and others lacking the vascular surgery training and experience. Such procedures done in the outpatient office setting would be no challenge for the vascular surgeon.
In summary, a patient suffering from vein problems would be well served to seek out a doctor who specializes in vein disease and treatment (phlebologist) to the exclusion of other specialty fields. Physicians, who dedicate their entire practice to the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease, are more likely to have extensive specialty training and education and to use state of the art equipment and be current with pertinent continuing education in the specialty. Within that group of vein specialists, a patient should look for a surgeon, especially one with vascular experience.