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How do I choose a good vein specialist?

This question was asked in Co Bluffs, Iowa and has 9 answer(s) as of 06/05/2013.
What kind of doctor do I need to see to treat my varicose veins and other venous problems? How do I know which doctors and clinics will be able to treat my problems? Do all vein doctors handle varicose vein treatment and chronic DVT?


Doctors Answers (9)

Vein specialist is now AMA recognized as an individual specialty, and I would recommend a physician who: A) Has experience in the full range of vein treatments including treating varicose veins (not all vein specialists treat varicose veins or chronic Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) B) Is a Diplomate of the American Board of Phlebology (ABP), and member of a national or international vein organization such as the American College Of Phlebology (ACP) C) Is an M.D. or D.O. from an accredited medical school D) Can adequately evaluate your condition and answer your questions prior to starting treatment E) Having actual patient before and after photos is also very helpful

I would recommend a Phlebologist, preferentially someone who is a Diplomat of the American Board of Phlebology.

Start by selecting a physician who is experienced with treatment of venous disease and who treats venous disorders on a full-time basis. Check the physician's credentials. You want a doctor who is board certified, preferably in Phlebology as this is the only medical specialty that focuses only on veins. If they are members of the American Venous Forum or the American College of Phlebology that is a plus. You may want to check out their website and/or call the office. You want to make sure they take and are in network for your insurance, that they treat both DVT and varicose veins and they treat them comprehensively, not just vein ablations but also treat with sclerotherapy and possibly phlebectomy.

I suggest you see a board certified vascular surgeon. Especially with a history of underlying DVT.

You will get many different answers to this question. There are very skilled physicians whose primary board certification may be in vascular surgery, general surgery, interventional radiology, dermatology, or vascular medicine and each of these specialties provides some training in the management of venous disorders. However, none of these specialties train a physician for all aspects of venous care. Additionally, there are excellent physicians whose original training was in a completely different specialty such as emergency medicine, anesthesiology, internal medicine, family practce, or obstetrics. All of us must obtain additional education and training outside of our original specialties in order to become good vein physicians. Some choose to qualify for an examination administered by the American Board of Phlebology and attain diplomate status with the American Board of Phlebology. The ABPh exam is the only exam for physicians specifically intended to test knowledge about venous disorders in a comprehensive way. Thus, the range of skills and knowledge vary considerably from one vein physician and clinic to another. Some do little except for sclerotherapy while others may do a wide range of procedures for venous disorders. Some clinics manage acute (recent) DVT while others do not. Some will manage the complications of old DVT within the legs; fewer manage the obstructive complications of old DVT in the veins of the pelvis. Ask any physician or clinic you anticipate visiting about their experience and interest in a particular problem. Does the physician practice phlebology on a full-time basis or just one day a week?

The physician should have specialty boards certification in vascular surgery or venous diseases. The vascular laboratory should be ICAVL certified.

Chronic DVT is usually managed by your Primary Care Physician and cardiologist. Phlebologists are specialists that will manage your chronic venous insufficiency (varicose veins). I'm board certified in Phlebology and will be happy to evaluate your problem.

Reputation is key including experience. Most vein specialists treat chronic DVT.

Have your family doctor recommend a vein specialist, or look on the internet for a vascular surgeon. Another source is the American College of Phlebology.

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