Many doctors treat varicose veins in New Zealand. These include:
- Vascular surgeons
- General surgeons
- Interventional radiologists.
- Cosmetic doctors who have an interest in varicose veins. And often in other cosmetic treatments, too. Often called a ‘Phlebologist’ or Vein Specialist
- Other doctors, like emergency doctors, will also treat varicose veins when they have an interest in this area.
All of these doctors can be called vein specialists but there are some differences between them.
Differences in which doctors treat varicose veins
The main difference is in the training and the range of the medical practice they offer.
Vascular surgeons are registered specialists with the New Zealand Medical Council. Mostly, they have done at least 10 years training since they became a doctor. They are specialists in artery and vein treatments. This includes surgery and keyhole ultrasound and X-ray procedures. Vascular surgeons may also work in big public and private hospitals. They offer full vein and artery care.
General surgeons are registered specialists in general surgery with the New Zealand Medical Council. They will mostly do surgery such as gastrointestinal, colorectal, hernia and breast surgery. Some general surgeons will also do vascular surgery in hospitals where vascular surgeons may not be available.
Interventional radiologists are registered specialists with the New Zealand Medical Council. They are specialists in radiology and in a range of image-guided treatments.
Phlebologists or Vein Specialists
These are doctors who have often trained as general practitioners and then branched out to work in the areas of cosmetic and vein treatments. This group of doctors are not registered specialists with the New Zealand Medical Council. Their are appropriately trained in varicose vein treatments but do not offer the full range of vein and artery care.
Other doctors treat varicose veins
There are also some other doctors offering varicose vein treatments in New Zealand. This group may include doctors such as emergency physicians, who might also have an interest in varicose vein treatments. These doctors may work under the guidance of a vascular surgeon. Or they may work independently in a similar capacity to phlebologists, if they have completed appropriate training.
So, which doctor will be best to treat my veins?
Often, the main thing to think about when choosing your varicose vein doctor is their expertise and experience. As well as a low number of complications from their work. And, following on from this, how they manage any complications if they do arise. A registered specialist is more likely to be able to handle these situations. Because they have more training, as well as more experience.
Ask your GP which doctors treat varicose veins
Ask your own GP for advice on who could treat your varicose veins. You might want to think about those doctors who are close to where you live or work. There is a wide range of choice. Making a good choice can be confusing for you.
At the same time, your doctor will talk with you about your symptoms. And may suggest some things you can do, too to help. Like wearing compression stockings. Or raising your legs at the end of the day to help reduce any swelling. Eating a healthy diet, giving up smoking and doing more exercise may also help you, like going on walks. If doing these things doesn’t help with your veins, your doctor may refer you. Or, if you have done your own research, you can refer yourself.