How do you make sure you’re working with the absolute best vein doctor? One way is to ask the right questions when you first go in for a medical consultation. Here are five questions we recommend asking any vein doctor before you agree to treatment:
- Why did you choose to specialize in vein surgery?
Ideally, your vein doctor has a passion and strong professional interest in vein medicine. You don’t want to go to a generalist who is simply offering vein surgery to increase profits. Look for a vein doctor who speaks with excitement about new research in the field and who is involved in professional associations related to vein medicine or teaches vein medicine to other doctors.
- What surgical certifications do you have?
Not every doctor is a certified surgeon and not all surgeons have the same level of training. A board certified surgeon has had their knowledge and techniques reviewed by a higher body of physicians and have been certified to practice that kind of surgery. Your vein doctor should carry the following board certifications:
- General surgery—This is the most basic credential carried by all surgeons and is a must for vein surgery.
- Cardiac surgery—Veins are part of the cardiovascular system and heart surgery is closely related to vein surgery. Knowledge of one improves knowledge of the other.
- Thoracic surgery—Most vein treatments will be in the lower extremities but the thorax (chest) is involved in heart surgery, and the most knowledgeable vein doctors will have a thoracic certification as well.
- Why are you recommending this particular treatment?
There are many different vein treatments available including long established surgical techniques and new cutting-edge approaches. Often there are several ways to treat a given vein condition. Ask your doctor why they’re making the recommendation they’ve made. They should be able to explain why it is medically the most effective in your individual case.
- What are my other options?
Similarly, ask them what other treatments are available. This will help put their recommendation into context and provide you with information to do some research and reading of your own.
- What should I expect after the treatment?
The best vein doctors will tell you not only about the procedure itself, but also give you detailed information about what to expect afterward—the day of, during recovery, and long term.