Selecting a surgeon

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Advanced vein problems usually require the services of a vascular surgeon or phlebologist (fluh-BAWL-oh-jist), a doctor who specializes in vein disease. You might start by asking your family physician for a referral to a specialist or talking to other people who've been successfully treated for vein problems. Interview several doctors if necessary and compare their qualifications. In general, a surgeon who performs venous procedures on a regular basis should be favored over a surgeon who performs these procedures infrequently. Being board-certified in a particular area of vascular medicine is another good sign, though it's not a guarantee of quality. In addition to scrutinizing the doctor, you should also assess the hospital with which he or she is affiliated. Inquire about the hospital's statistics on your particular procedure, for example, how many of the operations were performed and what percentage of patients developed complications. Gather these same figures for the particular doctor you're considering. If the hospital is a teaching facility, this is a potential bonus. Such hospitals tend to be more aware of the latest innovations and research. Those, which offer a team approach and a wide range of services, are also preferable, since vascular conditions can cause problems in other systems of the body.

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