What To Look For…
What Should You Look For in a Vein Doctor?
Physicians from many specialties successfully treat vein conditions. But first make sure you check the credentials of the doctor you plan to visit. Even though no diploma or other credential can guarantee good results in every case, you can maximize your chances if your phlebologist (vein doctor) has gone the extra mile to qualify and study for an examination, publish her personal results or otherwise contribute to the vein field.
The top credential now is Board Certification, which the American College of Phlebology first awarded in 2008. The doctor who achieves this certification must demonstrate extensive training and experience in the vein field, as well as take a challenging four-hour examination of all aspects of state-of-the art vein knowledge.
Is your doctor a member of the American College of Phlebology? This organization is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of vein disorders, especially cosmetic problems. Even though membership in this organization is not selective (any physician can join), the physician who joins has made a real effort to stay informed. The American College of Phlebology also rewards selected physicians with a Fellowship in the American College of Phlebology. This designation recognizes the phlebologist who actively participates in the College’s activities, teaches physicians new to the field, as well as publishes manuscripts.
The cosmetic vein field changes surprisingly quickly and it is important to keep up with the latest advances.
The American Venous Forum emphasizes more serious disorders, such phlebitis and ulceration. Membership in this society indicates academic seriousness. Membership in this society reflects a real commitment to vein problems.
For Large Vein Problems:
If you have varicose veins, be sure your doctor does a Duplex (color flow) ultrasound examination to determine the source of the problem. Do not undergo any procedure on large veins if an ultrasound is not done. It’s best if the doctor personally does your ultrasound test and explains what the screen shows. It’s next best if a technologist does the test with the doctor present. It’s not ideal if you are sent to a separate laboratory, because a paper report provides limited information and can misdirect the treating doctor.
Most minimally invasive treatments for large vein problems can be done under local anesthesia. Does your doctor offer this option?
For Small Vein Problems:
If you have spider veins, does the doctor use magnification and look for the source of the veins with special lights? If you can’t see the veins and if their source is not treated, the spider veins will soon return.
Lasers are seldom as effective as injections (sclerotherapy) for spider veins. Lasers simply cannot destroy the source of the spider veins. If your doctor offers only laser therapy, be prepared for disappointing results.
Who does the injections or the laser treatment of spider veins? Physician treatment is the best, specially trained nurses with certification are second best. Do not allow non-physician treatment unless a doctor is on the premises. Some facilities list the name of a medical director, but the physician may not be present when you receive your treatments.
Contact us at (310) 277-4868 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.