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How can I choose the best varicose veins specialist?

This question was asked in Brown Deer, Wisconsin and has 6 answer(s) as of 11/26/2012.
What are the best questions to ask a varicose veins specialist in order to choose the most qualified physician? I have been referred to multiple specialists but want to ensure that I make the most informed decision. I have varicose veins on my legs that have been becoming more noticeable and painful since childbirth.


Doctors Answers (6)

You are very wise to ask about the credentials of the doctor who will perform your diagnostic testing and treatments. Ask them how long they have been treating venous disorders, what type of training have they had, what board certifications they hold relating to venous disease. Are they board certified in general surgery, vascular surgery, Phlebology, or cardiothoracic surgery? These specialties have specific training for the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease. If your doctor is trained in another specialty, they may have training in venous disease; ask them to show you this training and qualifications.

The best specialist is the one your trusted primary care doctor recommends. When searching on your own, years of experience with a good reputation and membership in the ACP or AVF would be a good starting point.

The treatment of veins and venous disorders has become an AMA recognized specialty of its own and some doctors have chosen to become board certified in phlebology (veins). In choosing a vein specialist, consider whether he/she has been treating the full range of vein problems including varicose veins or only treats smaller spider veins. Ask if vein treatment is a major part of their practice as well as the number of years experience in treating veins. Varicose veins can be treated with several different methods depending on the size and location of the veins as in-office procedures.

I would recommend choosing someone who is a Diplomat of the American College of Phlebology.

Look for the most effective equipment first. The provider must have an ultrasound and should be able to do not only sclerotherapy but also Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) if necessary. There are several devices that a doctor can use to perform the EVLA but they are not all equal. The 1320nm CoolTouch is our favorite due to its patented pullback device. All the other laser devices are pulled back by hand introducing potential provider error. Also the 1320nm wavelength causes much less bruising than older devices that use either 810nm or 980nm. The VNUS radiofrequency system can be good but it can be difficult to treat short segments of diseased vessels if the provided does not have a specific radiofrequency wires for the system. Diseased short segments that are left untreated lead to higher recurrence rates. After picking out the place with the right equipment you want a provider that is committed to understanding how to use it. Look for providers that are members of the American College or Phlebology or have specific training in vascular surgery. The third factor along with training and equipment is experience. My recommendation is that any provider you choose should have performed at least 100 cases with their current equipment.

I would ask how long and how many cases he/she has performed Expertise in varicose veins (besides volume )also involves specialty in the vascular system (ex vascular surgeon / interventional radiologist..)

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