Who needs to see a vein doctor? This is a common question we hear. A corollary question is: “what is a vein doctor, and what do they do?” Vein doctors are physicians who have an interest and dedicated focus in taking care of patients with common vein disorders. Traditionally these were surgeons or vascular surgeons. More recently vein doctors can be a wider variety of doctors including surgeons, but also interventional radiologists, cardiologists, vascular medicine specialists and sometimes primary care doctors who have taken the time to focus their practice on this aspect of care. Sometimes this area of focus is called phelbology. A lot has changed in recent years and these changes impact what kind of doctor one might want to see for various different vein conditions. The good news is that most of these changes are very positive for patients and there are now more options to be seen in an efficient and helpful way than ever.
What has changed?
In the old days, the primary treatment was “vein stripping”, which has since become mostly a thing of the past in modern vein practices. When newer outpatient techniques were developed, such as Closurefast RFA or now Venaseal, vein care migrated to the outpatient clinic setting. Vein practices start to open where vein doctors focused entirely on the care for patients with symptoms of leg swelling, ache, tender or throbbing veins, skin problems by the ankles such as stasis dermatitis or even end stage presentations like venous stasis ulcers. What used to be done in the hospital, often under a general anesthetic with large incisions and stitches for skin closure, can now be done in less than an hour in an outpatient setting on an awake patient under a local anesthetic.
Vein doctors working in vein clinics generally take the time to learn and perfect their experiences with these new approaches, and as their practices grew they focused all their efforts in this direction. These recent advances in care have allowed not only the doctor, but also their staff to become proficient in all aspects of care, and to do so in a way that it can become routine to help the process go more smoothly for the patients and more cost effective for all.
Inovia Vein’s Approach
We founded Inovia in 2006, originally in Bend, Oregon. Over the years we have been leaders not only regionally caring for patients in Oregon, but also nationally and internationally with our clinical research and teaching efforts to help better vein patients lives more broadly. There are now 3 clinics in Oregon, including Tigard, Oregon and Northwest Portland. At Inovia, all of our doctors are board certified surgeons and all are fully specialized in vein care on a daily basis. In this respect, this makes Inovia the only vein specialized clinics in these regions.
While there are doctors that see vein patients in other practices, most do so in between seeing other non-vein patients with non-vein problems. In our case, we feel this gives us the time and focus to develop the best care pathways to help lead our patients through their vein care journey. We can take care of nearly all common out patient vein issues in the office. In rare cases where hospital services are needed we can help make those arrangements on a case by case basis.
Who needs to see a vein doctor?
Patients who have concerns about their veins can call and make an appointment to be seen. Most of the time these are patients with complaints like leg swelling, pain, ache, heaviness, skin issues like stasis dermatitis or venous stasis ulcers. Some patients have a strong family history of varicose veins. Some have a history of injury or trauma to their legs and later the vein symptoms developed. Others have a known history of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or superficial vein thrombophlebitis (SVT). DVT and SVT can damage veins, leading later to what is known as secondary venous insufficiency where the valves are damaged and the veins dilate and become symptomatic after time.
When the symptoms become enough of a concern, its not a bad idea to see a vein doctor to understand your options and start thinking through vein treatment options. Sometimes patients do not have symptoms, but they simply have varicose or spider veins that bother them from a cosmetic perspective. Patients can make a cosmetic vein appointment, so to speak, and options can be discussed. In these cases the treatments are not generally covered by insurance, but patient pay options can be estimated for the patient to consider. Specific referrals are generally not needed.
How to make an appointment with a vein doctor at Inovia Vein?