As you learn more about vein disease, you will quickly hear about the field of phlebology, the specialty of medical doctors who are experts in the treatment of varicose veins.
Phlebology is recognized as a specialty by both the American Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association for doctors who focus on disease of the veins. Primary care physicians will likely refer you to a phlebologist when they detect signs of varicose veins, including bulging and discolored veins, soreness or heaviness in your leg or bruising and bleeding near your ankles. The field has seen dramatic advances over the past couple of decades as treatment has moved from surgery toward less invasive treatment such as sclerotherapy and removal by laser and focused radio waves.
Phlebologists have extensive training in diagnosing varicose veins and recommending the treatment that would best address specific problems. They should also have the equipment needed to determine the extent of the vein disease as well as experience in the procedures that will address the problems. For instance, radiologists often specialize in phlebology because they are specialists in the use of ultrasound, the tool that shows how a vein is working – or how it is compromised – beneath the surface of the skin.
When doing research on which doctor would be best to help you diagnose and treat your varicose veins, ask about how many years the physician has been treating vein disease, how many procedures he or she has conducted, and what other areas the doctor specializes in. Strong experience in the field of phlebology is a good place to start.