Do I Have to See a Vein Specialist for Varicose Veins, or Can I See My Dermatologist?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Woman getting consult

Choosing the right doctor is the first step in eliminating painful varicose veins.

Varicose veins are more than just a cosmetic concern. Once you’ve decided to seek treatment, your next step is to find a qualified doctor to bring you relief. Dermatologists, vascular surgeons, and vein specialists have the training and experience to eliminate painful and unsightly varicose and spider veins. But which physician is right for you?

Deciding who to trust with your legs will depend on the severity of your varicose veins and the procedure you need. Superficial spider veins usually don’t require the same level of treatment as larger, more pronounced varicose veins. Before you book your appointment, here are some pointers to consider.

Which Type of Doctor is Right for Me?

Both dermatologists and vein specialists have received advanced medical training in their particular fields. In general, dermatologists specialize in skin disorders, but that doesn’t exclude them from treating smaller varicose veins and spider veins. During sclerotherapy, the dermatologist injects a safe solution into the vein to irritate the walls so the vein eventually closes and disappears. Dermatologists can also treat smaller varicose and spider veins with superficial laser light treatments to collapse the veins without damaging the skin. However, those superficial laser treatments may not completely eradicate varicose veins and their painful symptoms.

Vascular surgeons and vein specialists, on the other hand, focus their practice specifically on veins and the vascular system, including arteries. As specialists in that area, they can diagnose the underlying constricted blood flow within the veins that are causing the bulging varicose veins. They do this with a thorough ultrasound exam to pinpoint the problem veins. A dermatologist may not have the training to determine the source of the vein problem because they may not be trained in diagnosing vein disorders.

In addition to their diagnostic expertise, vein specialists and vascular surgeons offer a comprehensive menu of services for vein treatment. Vein specialists are experts in varicose vein procedures, such as laser ablation and ambulatory phlebectomy. During laser ablation, thermal heat from a laser is pulsed through a catheter to collapse the varicose vein. During the ambulatory phlebectomy procedure, the vein doctor removes larger varicose veins by removing the diseased veins through two tiny incisions. Although these procedures are minimally invasive, each requires the skill of a physician able to perform surgery on delicate veins deep within the legs.

How Do I Choose the Right Doctor?

Before booking your appointment, ask yourself and the doctor's office a series of questions to narrow down your choice. These questions will help you get appropriate treatment.

Is the doctor board-certified? Certification in any medical field is essential. Certification in vascular surgery or medicine, venous or lymphatic medicine, or phlebotomy is the standard for expertise in vein treatments. It indicates the physician has undergone rigorous training in their specialty.

Is the doctor experienced in vein procedures? Don’t be afraid to ask how many vein procedures the doctor has performed and what type! The more experience the doctor has in performing sclerotherapy, laser ablation, or other vein operations, the more likely you will experience a better outcome.

Would other patients recommend the doctor? Check reviews, as well as with friends and family about the doctor you’re considering. Did they have a good experience? Did they feel that their concerns were addressed quickly and thoroughly by the doctor? is a good resource. You can review a doctor's background and search for any complaints filed against them in the past on this website.

Will the doctor answer my questions? Does the doctor take the time to answer your questions in a way that's understandable and puts you at ease? It would be best if you chose the doctor based on their expertise and bedside manner. Your initial consultation with the doctor will provide insight into not only their knowledge but also how comfortable you are with the person.

Is the doctor in my insurance plan? Cosmetic procedures for spider veins are not paid for by insurance. But varicose veins causing acute symptoms are usually covered. Working with a doctor in your network will save you money, so be sure to inquire which plan the doctor belongs to before you make an appointment. Center for Vein Restoration accepts all major insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Visit a Vein Specialist

Center for Vein Restoration physicians have received certification in vascular medicine and other fields of vein health. Because of their extensive training, they can treat various vein disorders using proven minimally invasive methods. With locations across the country, easily find an office near you and book your appointment today!

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