What Kind of Doctor Treats Varicose Veins? Top Vein-Related FAQs
What kind of doctor treats varicose veins?
Phlebology is defined as the branch of medicine concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of vein conditions, such as spider veins, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis. As such, phlebologists are the kinds of doctors specializing in the treatment of spider veins and varicose veins.
Phlebologists, also known as vein doctors or vein specialists, are doctors with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of vein conditions. However, they can come from all fields of medicine — they can be cardiologists, anesthesiologists, primary care physicians, or hospitals, provided they have the appropriate training.
However, the barrier for entry into phlebology is pretty low, so the market is suffused with inexperienced vein doctors who only provide cosmetic relief from spider veins and varicose veins. That’s why you must find vein doctors who have undergone advanced residency programs and fellowships in vein care.
If you have spider veins or varicose veins, please schedule an appointment with our board-certified and Harvard-trained vein doctors in New York. You can find our vein doctors in Midtown Manhattan, a short walk from the Empire State Building and Central Park.
Do dermatologists treat varicose veins?
Phlebologists and vein doctors can come from all fields of medicine, including dermatology. As such, dermatologists often provide varicose vein and spider vein treatments. However, most dermatologists focus on cosmetic relief from varicose veins — they use laser therapy or sclerotherapy to minimize the visibility of varicose veins without diagnosing and treating the root cause, leading to a high risk of recurrence.
Dermatology is the field of medicine concerned with skin health. As such, most dermatologists only provide relief from the cosmetic elements of varicose veins and spider veins. Laser therapy and sclerotherapy certainly work, but there’s a high risk of recurrence because dermatologists don’t address the circulatory disorder responsible for varicose veins. If you have varicose veins, you must consult vein doctors who diagnose the root cause using ultrasound scans.
What does a dermatologist do for varicose veins?
Most dermatologists and medical spas provide laser therapy or sclerotherapy for varicose veins. Laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure wherein light energy is applied to the varicose veins to make their walls shrink and fade away from the skin. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a sclerosant medicine into the spider veins and varicose veins — sclerosant fuses the veins’ walls, turning them into hardened tissues eventually absorbed by the body.
Laser therapy and sclerotherapy are suitable cosmetic treatments for superficial varicose veins and spider veins. But they don’t address the root cause of varicose veins — chronic venous insufficiency. As such, blood will continue accumulating in your leg veins, and, over time, you may develop new varicose veins and spider veins. That’s why medical spas have a high rate of vein disease recurrence amongst patients.
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How to take care of veins?
- Remain hydrated — water improves blood circulation and vascular health
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables — they improve vascular strength and health
- Wear compression stockings — they minimize blood accumulation in leg veins
- Engage in cardiovascular exercises that work your leg muscles, such as running and cycling
- If you have a desk job, take frequent breaks to walk around and move your legs
- Elevate your legs above your heart’s level while sitting down
What is the main cause of varicose veins?
Chronic venous insufficiency is the main cause of varicose veins. Venous insufficiency is a medical condition wherein your vein valves collapse or malfunction, leading to backward blood circulation and the accumulation of blood in your leg veins. As blood continues accumulating in leg veins, your vein walls continue expanding and dilating, leading to protruding varicose veins.
When should I see a doctor about varicose veins?
Varicose veins are symptomatic of advanced chronic venous insufficiency — they indicate that blood has been accumulating in your leg veins for a long period. As such, if you have varicose veins, you must consult a vein doctor in NYC as soon as possible. You should ideally consult vein doctors before you even develop varicose veins, i.e. when you notice the earliest warning signs and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency.
At the earliest stage, vein disease leads to leg heaviness, restless leg syndrome, frequent leg cramps, and leg swelling, especially at the end of the day or after long periods of sedentariness. These symptoms are often misattributed to aging or exhaustion, leaving venous insufficiency undiagnosed. You should consult vein doctors when you notice these symptoms — they will identify chronic venous insufficiency and treat it before you develop spider veins and varicose veins.
Can varicose veins go away with exercise?
No. Varicose veins can’t go away with exercise because they’re caused by damaged or collapsed vein valves, and exercise can’t fix that problem. Cardiovascular exercises, such as running, swimming, and cycling, can improve blood circulation and push the accumulated blood towards the heart, alleviating the worst symptoms of vein disease. But you can’t treat vein disease with cardiovascular exercises.
Should you massage varicose veins?
Massage can alleviate the worst symptoms of varicose veins because it pushes the accumulated blood towards the heart and improves overall blood circulation. If you experience extreme leg heaviness, restless leg syndrome, and frequent leg cramps, massage can improve the symptoms. However, massage only provides temporary relief — you need minimally invasive spider vein and varicose vein treatments for optimal and long-lasting relief.
How much does it cost to get rid of varicose veins?
The cost of varicose vein treatments depends on numerous factors, including the location, size, and the number of varicose veins, whether you have underlying chronic venous insufficiency, the chosen varicose vein treatment options, and whether you’re eligible for insurance coverage. Our vein treatment centers in New York provide free insurance verification and follow a strict “no surprise billing” policy — if you have varicose veins, please schedule an appointment to determine the cost of varicose vein treatment.
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