This article first appeared in the October 12th edition of Mimi Vanderhaven Magazine

By Sonja Stiller, MD, Center for Advanced Vein Care

The field of vein care has evolved dramatically over the past several years. Advancements in minimally invasive procedures are producing the same results as the old-fashioned vein stripping surgery, which can be brutal and cause more trauma than is necessary to fix your veins.

Minimally invasive procedures have no hospitalization, no scarring, and a lower risk of complications compared to the surgery, which entails all of the above.

In the U.S., doctors are doing far fewer surgeries to correct problem veins. So if you suffer from varicose veins and a doctor is recommending surgery, what does that mean?

First of all, not all doctors are working with the same playbook. Physicians who are still recommending surgery are most often vascular surgeons, and they are still working with this procedure because that’s how they were trained.

If they are arterial specialists, and not vein specialists, they may not keep up on the latest information, attend conferences, etc., related to veins.

Why does this matter? Because some of the techniques that are very effective in the treatment of vein disease—such as endovenous laser thermal ablation, radiofrequency ablation, thermal ablation, ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy and visually guided sclerotherapy—need more than a casual understanding of the process to be done well.

Think about it. If you have a problem with the computer system in your car, would you prefer to go to a general mechanic or a specialist in the field?

In a field that is advancing at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to be a “jack of all trades.” So, in the area of veins, would you rather see someone who predominantly treats arteries, but can treat veins, too, or would you rather see someone whose specialty, training and passion is focused on treating veins?

Dr. Sonja Stiller is board certified in emergency and venous and lymphatic medicine. She serves on two national committees for the American College of Phlebology and is the founder of the Center for Advanced Vein Care located at 7200 Mentor Avenue, in Mentor. For an appointment, call 440-710-1140. More information can be found at YourHealthyVeins.com.