As treatment of varicose veins has evolved over the years, new medical specialties have developed to provide the most modern techniques and treatment to patients.
Three types of doctors treat varicose veins and other vein diseases: vein surgeon, phlebology-trained physician, and vascular and interventional radiologist. All are doctors with training in different but related specialties.
A phlebogist and an interventional radiologist both treat varicose veins with the least-invasive procedures, such as endovenous laser treatment, sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablation. These are the modern techniques that can be performed in a doctor’s office rather than a hospital and require much less recovery time.
A phlebologist is a physician who has gained specialty training in diseases and treatments of the veins. Most phlebologists concentrate on veins of the legs and associated diseases and the minimally invasive treatments described above.
An interventional radiologist is a doctor who practices another sub-specialty specializing in vein treatment. These practitioners invented angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent for heart disease, and interventional radiologists have developed similar techniques to treat varicose veins.
A vein surgeon removes problem veins with surgery, which requires general anesthesia and a longer hospital recovery. Vein surgeons also place catheters and stents in arteries and veins, which is not related to treatment of varicose veins.
What is best for you?
Both phlebologists and radiologists use ultrasound to see the vein being treated so they can guide a catheter to it for delivery of radiowaves or lasers to destroy the vein, or in the case of sclerotherapy, to administer medical solutions that cause the vein to safely collapse.
These techniques are called minimally invasive because they do not require large incisions in the body, as surgical procedures do, or long recovery times. Many conditions that as late as the 1970s required surgery are now treated by phlebologists and interventional radiologists.
At the Vein Institute of Connecticut, Dr. Alex Afshar is a board-certified family practice physician with extensive training in the field of phlebology — an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, hemorrhoids and other types of vein disease. He holds board certification from the American Board of Family Practice and is a member of the American College of Phlebology.
You don’t have to live with varicose veins. There are many treatment options. All are safe and can be done in our offices. Call us at 203-426-5554 to schedule an appointment.
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