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Choosing the "Right" Vein Doctor

Type "Varicose Vein" into Google search and in seconds, countless thousands of links pop up; each one pointing to a different website; each website claiming that their “Vein Doctor” is the "best"; and each practitioner promising to rid you of your ugly, painful veins, leg swelling and non-healing ulcers. Lost in this hype, finding the right physician might seem impossible. When everyone in cyberspace claims to be the best and backs up their claims by citing an endless list of credentials, professional affiliations and most importantly, showing off their work: their before and after galleries... it gets confusing.


Choosing the best doctor for your specific condition can be a difficult decision and should only be made after serious consideration of the available options. In the best of scenarios, patients should visit as many doctors as they can; to interview and to question them about everything relating to their condition. In these visits, patients are encouraged to evaluate everything from the reception staff to the vascular ultrasonographer; is your vascular ultrasound done “in-house”..is the ultrasonographer a registered ultrasound technologist...or are you sent to the hospital for an ultrasound. All of this makes a difference because your doctor will make their diagnosis on the basis of your ultrasound report. Ultrasounds must be read by a RPVI registered physician, not simply a radiologist... as the two physicians will look for vastly different signs relating to vascular disease and health. Keep in mind if the study isn’t read correctly, the procedure can go poorly.


Patients should also pay special attention to the medical assistants, the nurses, the quality of the facility and ultimately, to the doctor themselves. As simple as this may sound, getting comfortable with and trusting your physician is unquestionably the most important part of the entire process. If the answer to any of your questions isn't to your liking, ask a second and a third question for clarity. If you are still not satisfied, take the time to seek out another health care professional. Most importantly, keep in mind that on-line internet reviews and rankings mean nothing unless you, yourself, feel comfortable in the presence of your doctor. Take the time to choose wisely.


Doctors must earn a patient’s trust by ensuring that their patients understand their options, the risks of doing the surgery, and the expected outcomes from the procedure. If your doctor doesn't seem to have enough time for you or your feel like you are being fed into a "treatment machine”, stop and go somewhere else. Remember, even though your goal is to correct your varicose veins, every cosmetic procedure carries with it a certain amount of risk; up to and including death. While many Varicose Veins are stand alone conditions, they can also be the expression of a much more complicated underlying circulatory problem. Ensuring your physician has the proper qualifications and experience to deal with ANY underlying circulatory issue, aside from the varicose vein itself, should be a vital part of your decision...and just because you doctor has done a lot of procedures, it doesn't mean that the outcomes have been good. Ask them the tough questions....ask them what happens if your legs continue to swell after the procedure, what they will do? Just telling you to continue wearing compression stockings isn’t always the right answer. Ask your physician to show you the results of your ultrasound study and to explain why they believe the varicose vein is only a cosmetic issue and not a systemic issue. If the answer doesn't seem right to you, it probably isn't.


Who is the right person to call? What training should your "Varicose Vein Doctor" have? Always ask the question, “What happens if something goes wrong during the procedure?” Does the doctor you are interviewing for your procedure have the necessary training and qualifications to treat these problems? If you do need to be admitted to a local hospital if the unexpected happens, does your doctor have the RIGHT admitting privileges there to help you? If they answer that you will be sent to the ER, they clearly do not have the correct privileges...and this should be an important warning. If they say that they have done hundreds, maybe thousands of these procedures without a complication, and that there is nothing to worry about, be aware that every procedure has a potential for unexpected complications.


Dr Kokinos is a ABMS Board Certified General And Vascular Surgeon with extensive training in the diagnosis and the treatment of vascular disease. Her award winning South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute is the South Bay’s largest Vascular Surgery practice specializing in the treatment of vascular disease, including Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Leg Swelling, the Treatment for DVT’s, and Varicose Veins. If you or anyone you know suffers from any of the conditions listed above, or have had complications with cosmetic vein procedures, Dr. Kokinos is happy to discuss your treatment options.