Choosing a Vein Care Specialist
I often see ads popping up for vein care that extol cosmetic improvements. While it is true that varicose veins may fade after treatment, it frightens me to think that the point is being missed. Varicose vein disease is not solely a cosmetic problem, nor is it limited to the skin surface. Veins bulge at the skin surface most often because of an underlying disorder of the circulation called venous insufficiency.
In the past there had been perhaps a pejorative attitude towards patients seeking vein treatments. Patients had been told by otherwise excellent primary care physicians things like “don't worry about them.” or “they're just cosmetic” or “the symptoms are in your head.” Unfortunately there are those out there offering vein care that reinforce this misconception as evidenced by these ads that over emphasize cosmetics.
As technology has progressed the treatment of vein disease has evolved from painful vein stripping surgery to outpatient treatments. Stripping, which required a hospital stay and a week or two of convalescence has been replaced by minimally invasive techniques. One of these newer techniques is called VNUS Closure. I personally will perform up to eight Closures each day (six days a week) and to date I have performed over 4,000 Closure treatments. My patients are back to work or normal activity the same day and report minimal or no discomfort during treatment.
Whereas vein stripping surgery entails excising veins from the body, leaving pain and scars in its wake, Closure uses a minimally invasive catheter technology to treat the key source vein below the skin surface. It is this leaky source vein that puts pressure on the visible veins at the skin surface. This condition is called venous insufficiency and can cause numerous symptoms, including, aching, tiredness, swelling, itching, and restless legs. Left untreated, the vein disease can lead to more serious complications including phlebitis, ulceration and deep vein thrombosis. VNUS Closure is covered by most insurance and requires a carful assessment including venous ultrasound to determine if the treatment is indicated.
If you are contemplating seeking care for your veins, it would be wise to consider where and from whom you seek treatment. While it is certainly a step forward that we have such an improvement over traditional vein stripping, this improvement in technology has led to a slew of doctors claiming to be vein care specialists, offering vein treatments as a sidelight to another medical practice, or on a list of services as in a spa. In the region there are only a handful of vein-only specialists, devoting their clinical practice exclusively to this complex disease process. The veins are not limited to the skin, but are an integral part of the circulatory system as are the heart and arteries. As such, vein care is best performed by a physician trained in treating not skin disorders, but disorders of the circulation. Additionally the practice of vein care itself is not limited to performing the procedures. A vein care specialist will also employ expert Venous Sonography, a team of sclerotherapists, and a team of support personnel to aid patients with all forms of questions from office directions to insurance preauthorization. Again, this is a distinction of a vein care only type of practice.
Many of the new treatment modalities can be performed in a doctor's office on an outpatient basis. Though this is well true, the best results will be obtained in an outpatient facility designed specifically for this purpose where the equipment and space are readily available. Remember the Closure procedure is minimally invasive, but a surgical procedure none the less. It must be performed in the appropriate outpatient environment. Our 3,500 square foot facility in Columbia is devoted exclusively to vein care. There we have seven treatment rooms. Patients can sit back and enjoy a movie while being treated.
Please visit our website, www.MDVeinProfessionals.com for before and after results and over 100 patient testimonials. Call us at 410-964-VEIN (8346) or 877-7MD-VEIN for a complimentary evaluation.