What to Expect from Your Visit with a Vein Care Specialist
Your initial evaluation for vein treatment will vary slightly from physician to physician, but generally, it will include three components: a clinical history, a physical examination, and a discussion about your treatment expectations and concerns. When seeking treatment for venous disorders, it is important to remember that vein disease is a lifelong problem that cannot be cured with a single procedure or treatment. Cosmetic reduction in visibility of spider and varicose veins is very possible, however, most patients will continue to develop new spider veins throughout their lives.
Because genetics plays a large role in vein disease, gathering a comprehensive medical history is an important part of your evaluation. Generally, the office staff will gather demographic data and initiate a patient chart for you. This chart may include financial and insurance information as well as a privacy disclosure. Information on your past medical history is typically gathered at this point, and often you will be asked about the vein problems you are currently experiencing.
When meeting in private with the physician or their staff, you may be asked more in-depth questions regarding your and your family’s medical history.
The specialist will ask you about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and conduct an examination. After carefully examining your legs, the physician may also examine the abdomen or pelvis to search for other abnormal veins. You may wish to bring loose-fitting (baggy) shorts with you to the physician’s office, and ask the staff if it would be appropriate for you to change into them once in the exam room.
After the initial exam is complete, your physician may decide that further testing is in order. These tests often include duplex ultrasound and/or Doppler exams of the legs. These non-invasive procedures use sound waves to evaluate the function of the valves in the veins of the leg. These tests are very important in diagnosis and can improve the effectiveness of any treatment.
At this point, your physician will discuss your treatment expectations and options with you. You should feel free to ask any questions about costs, complications, and potential benefits as well as side effects of treatment. You should also feel free to question your physician about their qualifications, training, background, and the number of previous procedures performed of the type they are suggesting
Veins that are cosmetically unappealing or cause pain or other symptoms are prime candidates for treatment. There are two general treatment options: conservative measures, such as compression stockings or herbal remedies, and corrective measures such as sclerotherapy, surgery and light source/laser treatment. In some cases, a combination of treatment methods works best. A number of factors go into determining the right treatment for you, including your desired outcomes and the severity of your condition. It’s important to discuss your treatment options with a vein care specialist.
Graduated compression stockings are the first line of defense and a mainstay of conservative management of venous disease. Graduated compression stockings create a tight pressure around the foot and ankle that gradually decreases as it moves up the leg. This “graduated compression” promotes the normal flow of blood up the leg. Most vein specialists recommend that patients who suffer from spider veins, varicose veins, or venous insufficiency wear compression stockings. Compression stockings can also be used to supplement other forms of treatment.