If you’re suffering from varicose veins, you’ll probably be referred to a vein care specialist who will advise what type of treatment (if any) is most suitable for you.
To help you understand what this entails and who you can expect to receive treatment from, we’ve put together an extensive list of the different types of doctors at our clinics who treat varicose and spider veins. You’ll also find helpful information about what each treatment involves.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Veins play a huge role in the circulatory system as they’re the blood vessels that are responsible for carrying blood that’s low in oxygen to the heart and lungs.
However, when this system fails, pools of blood can cause these veins to bulge. When these bulging veins become visible on the skin’s surface they’re called “varicose veins,” and these are often teamed with other symptoms such as aching, heavy, or tired limbs. They’re most commonly found on the thighs and legs.
In addition, they can be found deeper under the surface of your skin. Because varicose veins contain valves that are damaged, they hold more blood at a higher pressure than normal. This extra pressure forces fluid into the surrounding tissue which causes your leg to swell and feel tired and achy.
In rarer cases, these veins may rupture, creating ulcers on the skin. Another serious risk of leaving varicose veins untreated is that you can develop blood clots and vein infections if blood backup occurs. Some patients report varicose veins causing legs to feel numb, which can cause leg injuries to go undetected.
What Are Spider Veins?
These smaller veins also appear on the surface of the skin and have the appearance of a spider’s web with lots of fine, short lines. They’re most common in the feet, ankles, calves, and thighs, but they can sometimes form on the face.
Both types of these veins can occur in women or men at any age, but women who are of childbearing age or older tend to be most affected by them. And if there’s a history of spider veins or varicose veins in the family, this also increases a person’s risk of developing them.
Thankfully, there are plenty of experts who can create a tailored treatment plan to help reduce or eradicate your varicose veins.
What Kind of Doctor Treats Varicose Veins?
The vein specialist who is right for you will depend on your unique requirements, with certain specialists being more recommended for your condition than others.
Specializing in treating vascular and venous conditions, this specialist is highly trained to help combat various diseases that occur in the vascular system.
They’re also qualified to diagnose a number of vascular conditions using non-invasive procedures like MRI scans and ultrasounds. With their unprecedented knowledge of conditions relating to the vascular system, like varicose veins, they can provide in-depth treatments that combat a range of diseases.
The type of treatment they may offer depends on the individual case. For example, they offer everything from endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) treatments that involves a precise insertion of a very thin (less than one millimeter) laser fiber into the diseased veins under real-time ultrasound guidance, followed by an application of laser energy to heat and close the malfunctioning vein, consequently closing the diseased veins.
These doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating a number of venous disorders, and they tend to have a background in dermatology, vascular disorders, or hematology. To become a vein disorder specialist, they’ll often have to be approved by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, which involves passing a written test.
Once qualified, phlebologists can treat spider veins and varicose veins in a number of different ways, but you’ll often find them specializing in minimally invasive procedures.
Treatment Options for Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Now we’ve got to grips with what kind of doctor treats varicose veins, let’s explore the various types of treatment options available for these and spider veins.
First introduced in the 1930s, sclerotherapy is a popular treatment option for varicose veins. It involves inserting a specialist detergent (a sclerosant) or concentrated saline mixture into your vein. Over the following 3 to 6 weeks, this vein will start to disappear, and then it will reabsorb into the body.
More recently, foam sclerotherapy has been introduced, which also works on larger veins. Instead of the saline solution, a foam sclerosant is used as it coats readily to the inside of the vein, providing more effective treatment. Again, after several weeks, the vein will often fade, but sometimes, more than one treatment will be required.
Due to the minimally invasive nature of these procedures, they can be performed by most vein specialists in an outpatient setting. Equally, if the vein isn’t overly visible on the surface of the skin, a radiologist may use an ultrasound to guide the solution into deeper veins.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
This procedure uses a small laser fiber that delivers pulses of light when it’s inserted into your vein. As another less invasive treatment, it’s ideal for treating varicose veins in your legs as it causes the vein to collapse so other healthier veins are used instead. The laser tends to be inserted into the great saphenous vein, which runs inside your legs and is the body’s longest vein. However, if your veins aren’t symptomatic of another venous disease, this procedure might not be necessary.
It’s carried out under local anesthesia, often in an outpatient setting. The procedure typically takes 15 minutes and patients are able to resume normal activities as soon as they leave the clinic. The specialist might recommend several short sessions of EVLT treatment depending on the nature of the veins. EVLT is a virtually painless procedure that has been the gold standard of vein treatment since 2005.
Seeking Treatment for Your Varicose Veins
A vein consultation will determine what treatment is needed for your individual situation. After our specialists direct you to correct treatment for your abnormal veins, you may want to contact your insurance company as most will cover varicose vein treatments when they’re deemed a medical issue. Generally, spider veins aren’t covered, but it’s always worth checking to be sure. If you are wondering what kind of doctor treats varicose veins, give us a call today to see how we can help.
It is also important to note that not all varicose veins and spiders veins will need treating. Often, they’re deemed a “cosmetic problem,” which is why you should seek the advice of your doctor so you can be confident that you’re choosing the right kind of treatment for your varicose veins.
Our vein specialists not only take their time performing procedures, but they also empathize with their patients’ symptoms and concerns in order to create a comfortable, trusting atmosphere.
Whether it’s varicose veins, spider veins, or venous ulcers, our clinics treat a variety of vein disease conditions. Varicose treatments take between 15-30 minutes depending on the number of veins affected. If you believe you are suffering from vein disease, contact us at 888.768.3467 to learn more about which treatment would work best for you.
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