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What Doctor Treats Venous Insufficiency?

What Doctor Treats Venous Insufficiency?

Jul 5, 2024 | Blog

Venous insufficiency is a condition where veins struggle to send blood from the limbs back to the heart. This can lead to discomfort, swelling, and more severe complications like varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and leg ulcers if untreated.

You may be wondering, what doctor treats venous insufficiency? Vascular specialists, particularly vascular surgeons, and phlebologists are the primary doctors who diagnose and treat this condition. These experts have undergone extensive training in managing blood vessel-related issues, making them uniquely qualified to handle venous insufficiency. Interventional radiologists also play a vital role in treating venous insufficiency.

At CACVI, we have board certified consultants in vein treatments, including chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). With over 30 years of experience, our team is committed to providing compassionate and personal care to patients. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us now for a free consultation

In this blog, we will guide readers on the types of doctors who treat venous insufficiency. We will also shed light on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for venous insufficiency. 

Types of Doctors Who Treat Venous Insufficiency

Types of Doctors Who Treat Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a condition that can be addressed by several types of doctors. These include primary care physicians, cardiologists, vascular surgeons, phlebologists, and interventional radiologists. 

It is understandable if you do not know the exact doctor to meet if you’re dealing with a case of venous insufficiency. However, if you know more about their roles, we are sure that you will have a better understanding. As you read further, you will get better clarity on the roles these different doctors play in treating venous insufficiency.

At CACVI, our doctors are highly trained and experienced in treating venous insufficiency. Our team, composed of board-certified vascular surgeons like Dr.Khorsandi and Dr. M. Lala, has over 15,000 successful vascular and cardiac procedures.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of venous insufficiency, don’t wait to seek help. Contact us today for a free consultation and begin your journey toward better vascular health.

Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians (PCPs) are often the first point of contact for patients experiencing symptoms of venous insufficiency. They play a crucial role in the initial diagnosis and referral process. 

PCPs manage underlying conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, that may contribute to venous insufficiency. They may also recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight or wearing compression stockings.

Cardiologists

Cardiologists focus on cardiovascular health. They diagnose and manage venous insufficiency, especially when it overlaps with heart conditions.

It’s imperative that you consult a cardiologist if your venous insufficiency is accompanied by deep vein thrombosis or other cardiovascular problems. They can use diagnostic tests such as echocardiograms and Doppler ultrasounds to assess blood flow and identify any potential issues.

Vascular Surgeons

A vascular surgeon is a specialist in vascular medicine who deals specifically with diseases of the veins and arteries. They provide comprehensive treatments for venous insufficiency, including surgical interventions and minimally invasive techniques. 

Procedures such as vein stripping, endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), and venous ablation are minimally invasive procedures and are within the expertise of vascular surgeons. These board-certified vascular surgeons ensure patients each receive a personalized treatment plan to improve blood flow.

Phlebologists

Phlebologists are vein specialists focusing solely on venous diseases. They offer common treatments like sclerotherapy and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). These treatments target superficial veins and varicose veins or spider veins. They aim to treat and possibly prevent any form of venous disease.

Typically, phlebologists have extensive experience in managing vein issues and use minimally invasive procedures to provide effective relief from venous insufficiency.

Interventional Radiologists

Interventional radiologists use imaging techniques to treat venous insufficiency. They perform procedures such as venous ablation, angioplasty, and the placement of stents to ensure proper blood flow in the veins. 

These specialists utilize advanced imaging to guide their minimally invasive treatments. Thus, serving as an alternative to traditional surgery.

What is Venous Insufficiency

What is Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a condition where the veins in your legs have trouble sending blood back to your heart. This happens because the valves in the veins don’t work properly, causing blood to flow backward and pool in the legs.

Causes and risk factors

Some causes of venous insufficiency and risk factors include age, family history, obesity, smoking, etc. 

Age: As we get older, our veins lose elasticity. This then makes it harder for blood to flow and can likely result in venous insufficiency. 

Family history: If you have family members who have had venous insufficiency, you might be more likely to develop it too.

Prolonged standing or sitting: If you engage in jobs or activities that require long periods of sitting or standing, it can increase pressure in your leg veins. This then obstructs the flow of blood. Taking breaks to move around if your job requires long periods of standing or sitting can be helpful in preventing venous insufficiency.

Obesity: Extra weight is another factor that puts additional pressure on your veins. Thus, resulting in venous insufficiency. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise reduces pressure on your veins.

Pregnancy: During pregnancy, you are likely to experience increased blood volume and pressure on the veins from the growing uterus. This makes pregnant women more likely of getting venous insufficiency.  Wearing compression stockings and elevating your legs helps with blood flow during pregnancy.

High blood pressure: This condition can damage the veins, making it harder for blood to flow properly. Managing your blood pressure through medication, diet, and exercise can be helpful.

Lack of exercise: Regular movement helps with blood circulation whilst a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to venous insufficiency. Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine improves circulation.

Smoking: Smoking damages blood vessels and affects blood flow. Quitting smoking protects your blood vessels and improves overall health.

Leg injuries: Leg injuries can lead to changes in the veins or valves. Thus, resulting in venous insufficiency. It is important to seek medical treatment for any conditions or injuries affecting your legs.

Unknown reasons: Interestingly, there are some situations when venous insufficiency can occur without a clear cause.

Symptoms of venous insufficiency

Symptoms of venous insufficiency could come in the form of swelling in the legs or ankles due to fluid buildup. You could also notice aching or camping in the legs, especially after long periods of standing or sitting. 

Skin changes are also symptoms as the skin may turn brown or blue to indicate poor blood flow. Additionally, there is a likelihood of the appearance of varicose veins just under the skin’s surface.

Furthermore, the skin may feel tight and itchy due to swelling and fluid retention. You could also feel muscle spasms and experience open sores on the legs that are slow to heal. These leg ulcers look like shallow craters and can be very painful.

Diagnostic Process

Diagnostic Process

The diagnostic process for venous insufficiency begins with an initial consultation and a thorough review of your medical history. During this consultation, your doctor will ask about your symptoms, family history, lifestyle, and any previous conditions or surgeries that might contribute to venous insufficiency. This step helps the doctor understand the extent of your condition and any underlying factors.

Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination. This includes checking your legs for signs of swelling, varicose veins, skin changes, and any open sores or ulcers. The doctor may also feel for warmth, tenderness, or any abnormalities in the veins. Observing these physical signs helps in assessing the severity of venous insufficiency.

To confirm the diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan, your doctor may recommend several diagnostic tests like duplex ultrasound, venography, and MRI or CT scans. Duplex ultrasound is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to create images of your veins and measure the speed of blood flow. It helps detect blood clots and assess the functioning of the valves in the veins.

In addition, venography serves as an imaging test that involves injecting a contrast dye into your veins and taking X-rays to see how blood flows through them. It provides detailed images of the veins and can identify blockages or abnormalities. In addition, MRI or CT scans are particularly useful in complex cases to get a comprehensive view of the venous system and detect any underlying issues.

At CACVI, our team of highly trained specialists offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment options tailored to your specific needs. Our goal is to help improve your vascular health. Contact us now for a free consultation.

Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Treatment and therapy for venous insufficiency depend on the patient’s condition and financial situation. There are several approaches to managing this condition, ranging from lifestyle changes and home remedies to medical treatments and surgical interventions.

Lifestyle changes and home remedies – to improve blood flow

Improving blood flow through lifestyle changes and home remedies is often the first step in treating venous insufficiency. Engaging in exercises such as walking or swimming helps improve blood flow in the legs. Exercises further strengthen the calf muscles which helps in pumping blood back to the heart. 

Wearing compression stockings is another home remedy that can be helpful. These stockings apply gentle pressure to the legs that promote blood flow and reduce swelling. They are helpful for people who stand or sit for long periods. 

Elevating the legs above heart level several times a day can also help reduce swelling and improve blood flow. This simple practice can alleviate discomfort and prevent blood from pooling in the veins.

Medical treatments

For more severe cases of venous insufficiency, medical treatments may be necessary. For example, doctors may prescribe medications to improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and prevent blood clots. These can include anticoagulants or medications to address underlying conditions contributing to venous insufficiency.

A vein doctor may go a step further and recommend minimally invasive procedures that are effective in treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency. One common procedure is sclerotherapy, where a solution is injected into the affected veins, causing them to collapse and fade away. Other techniques include endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) and radiofrequency ablation.

Surgical interventions

In more advanced cases, surgical interventions might be required to treat venous insufficiency. Vein stripping is an example of such a surgical procedure. It involves removing damaged veins through small incisions. It is typically used for severe varicose veins that do not respond to other venous insufficiency treatments.

Furthermore, in cases where veins are severely damaged, bypass surgery may be performed to redirect blood flow around the affected veins.

Need to consult a doctor about Venous insufficiency?

Early diagnosis and treatment of venous insufficiency help prevent complications and improve your quality of life. Addressing this condition promptly can help avoid severe issues such as leg ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, and chronic pain. By seeking professional medical advice early, you can explore various treatment options that can effectively manage your symptoms and improve blood flow.

If you experience symptoms like swelling in the legs, pain, cramping, varicose veins, or skin changes, it is important to consult a doctor. Professional vein doctors ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan. Specialists such as vascular surgeons, phlebologists, cardiologists, and interventional radiologists have the expertise to treat venous insufficiency.

If you suspect you have venous insufficiency, don’t wait to seek help as early intervention can make a significant difference. At CACVI, we run the best Center for Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Interventions in LA. Schedule a free consultation now with our cardiac and vascular specialists!

CONTACT CACVI

If you were told you need an amputation, get a second opinion! We are board certified consultants in endovascular interventions committed to improving the quality of your life and the lives of those you love!

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