Vein disease encompasses a number of different conditions, but varicose veins are one of the most common and the reason many people seek the services of a vein specialist. The term, however, doesn’t denote an actual medical specialty, so it may take a little effort for patients to make a choice. In Tampa, Florida, that choice should be Dr. Gamal Wazni or one of the other physicians associated with United Vein Centers.
What’s a Vein Specialist?
A vein specialist must first be a physician, either a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO). Both of these physicians begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree and four years of medical school, followed by an appropriate residency. Residencies can last from four to seven years, depending on the specialty. In most cases, vein specialists are internists, radiologists or surgeons. After completing their basic specialty training, these doctors go on for a fellowship – an extended period of additional training.
More About Vein Specialists
Each type of specialist has a different focus. Vascular surgeons are first trained in general surgery and then take additional training in vascular surgery – sometimes seven years or more. Some vascular surgeons are also trained in heart surgery techniques. Some internists remain in that field, while others become cardiologists – either may become a vein specialist. Radiologists specialize in the use of imaging techniques to diagnose and treat disease. Interventional radiology is a sub-specialty and doctors who practice in this area may become vein specialists.
What Can a Vein Specialist Do?
Some procedures can be performed by any vein specialist. Minimally invasive techniques, which are typically performed in a doctor’s office or vein center and require only local anesthetics, are usually within the scope of any vein specialist. These include procedures like sclerotherapy, laser treatments and ambulatory phlebectomy. Only surgeons can perform procedures like vein stripping – a technique that is not used as frequently as it once was due to the use of minimally invasive procedures.
Making a Choice
Your first step in choosing a vein specialist – as in choosing any doctor – should be to confirm training, licensing and board certification. This information is readily available online and the doctor probably also has certificates hanging on the office wall. You should also consider what the problem is. For example, simple varicose veins can be handled by almost any vein specialist. If you have developed venous ulcers, however, you’re more likely to need a vein specialist who is a surgeon. Remember that qualifications aren’t everything – you and the doctor should be a good match in terms of personality, which promotes communication and the doctor-patient relationship.
If you have vein disease and have progressed to the point at which you feel you need treatment, please contact United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida. Our vein specialists include both vascular surgeons and internists. All have the necessary skills and experience to assess and treat your condition. We welcome questions and will be happy to schedule an appointment.