Your general practitioner may be one of your most trusted counselors. You go to your GP for all sorts of aches, pains and questions. The family doctor may be the first person you talk to about your pregnancy, or the person you confide in when you are scared.
A GP, by definition, is a generalist, and just as you find an obstetrician when you are having a baby, you should consider a specialist for other medical issues as well.
If your regular doctor says the signs of varicose veins on your legs aren’t serious, and thus don’t need treatment, don’t be afraid to ask questions – or a reference for a specialist.
Varicose veins sometimes don’t cause anything more serious than discoloration on your legs along with occasional dull pain or tiredness. But they can also lead to serious complications.
Blood clots that form in a diseased vein can cause serious pain and sometimes break loose and travel to your heart or lungs.
Eczema, the result of swelling in your lower leg, and an infection called cellulitis, are both relatively common results of untreated varicose veins. Cellulitis causes infected skin to become swollen and sore to the touch. Eczema makes your skin itchy, dry and flaky.
Sometimes the skin over your veins is stretched so thin that sores develop. They might start bleeding spontaneously, causing a scary moment if not a health emergency.
A doctor who is certified in phlebology, the medical practice of treating veins, is more likely to understand all the possibilities posed by varicose veins, and be able to treat them efficiently.
So when your general practitioner can’t answer all your vein questions, don’t feel embarrassed about seeking an opinion from a specialist.
Dr. Alex Afshar is a board-certified family practice physician with extensive training in the field of phlebology. Schedule a free consultation with him by contacting the Vein Institute of Connecticut.