Sometimes, a patient finds themselves dealing with ongoing symptoms in their legs, such as pain and swelling, and their primary physician doesn’t have an explanation or solution for them. So, they get on without seeking more help.
Despite the lack of relief, they’re getting, why do patients avoid booking an appointment with a vascular surgeon? They may believe their symptoms aren’t bothersome enough, or that problems like varicose veins aren’t anything about cosmetic issues, even in the presence of discomfort.
Other patients just aren’t aware there’s a whole specialism dedicated to vascular diseases. And, if we’re being honest, a lot of people don’t know what vascular diseases are or what vascular specialists even do.
This all means people rarely know when it’s time to speak to a vascular surgeon about their problems. And not knowing could lead to a missed diagnosis and a worsening of symptoms. Since some vascular diseases can be serious. It’s worth knowing when to pick up the phone and dial the best vascular surgeon for your needs.
What Exactly Does a Vascular Surgeon Do?
Vascular surgeons and specialists are doctors who treat conditions of the vascular system – a network of veins and arteries that carries blood throughout the body.
Although vascular surgeons do perform surgery, of course. They do even more than you might expect. Vascular surgeons advise patients on non-surgical ways to treat vascular disease, suggesting medications, diet, exercise as well as other lifestyle changes to improve their patient’s health.
Here are some examples of vascular diseases (many of them are serious!):
- Atherosclerosis (occurs when plaque builds up in your arteries)
- Blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
- Stroke – a serious condition that demands immediate medical attention
- Coronary artery disease
- Raynaud’s disease (a disorder that leads to narrow blood vessels when cold or stressed)
- Varicose veins (bulging, twisted veins that are blue-purple in color)
- Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
When Should You See a Vascular Surgeon?
Your primary care physician can refer you to a vascular surgeon, but there are multiple reasons why this might not happen when it should.
Here’s when it might be time to see a vascular surgeon.
- You experience pain in your legs when walking
- You have discoloration/darkening on your legs
- You have a history of stroke or mini-stroke
- You have painful or bulging veins
- Your legs are achy and swollen (or your other extremities)
- You have wounds or sores that don’t heal
If you have any of the above, you might require vascular treatments. The only way to know is to speak to a vascular surgeon or specialist.
Risk Factors For Vascular Disease
If you have any of the risk factors for vascular disease along with the symptoms above, enlist the help and support of a good vascular surgeon or specialist. They’ll help you detangle and make sense of what’s going on.
What are the risk factors for vascular disease? We’re talking about tobacco use, a family history of vascular disease, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and age. Conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes can also increase your risk.
Your Relationship With Your Vascular Surgeon
Because vascular diseases are long-term and require ongoing treatments and check-ins, you’ll build a long-term relationship with your vascular surgeon.
That’s why choosing the right vascular surgeon is important. If you have vascular disease, you’ll be meeting with your vascular surgeon for a long time.
Since vascular diseases can be serious in nature, there’s even more reason to select the right vascular surgeon. You need somebody you can place your trust and health in.
Choosing the Right Vascular Surgeon
How do you go about choosing the right vascular specialist? Here’s what to look out for when making your selection.
- Credentials and commitment to the development
Check to see if your surgeon is board certified in vascular surgery or another specialty in treating vascular diseases. Excellent vascular surgeons typically undergo training and certification under the American Board of Surgery
Does your vascular surgeon belong to any professional medical societies or associations? If so, this indicates they’re interested in staying on top of developments in their field and are regularly updating their knowledge. You want a knowledgeable doctor who interacts with
a professional community of other doctors in their field.
- The breadth of experience in the field
How long has your vascular surgeon been in the field? How many patients have they diagnosed and treated? If you want a knowledgeable professional handling your health, these are questions you’re going to need answering.
- Patient love and a solid reputation
Before choosing your surgeon, check to see if their patients are happy with them. What do the reviews around the doctor’s care say? Everything is googleable these days. Your chosen vascular specialist should have good reviews against their name and should be highly recommended.
- They’re prepared to meet you before performing surgery!
If you need vascular surgery, always make sure you meet your surgeon face-to-face. Your vascular surgeon should be willing to answer your questions, no matter how many you have. They should be honest about risk factors and should be able to give you the full lowdown on the procedure.
Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer — a Leading Vascular Surgeon of Choice in Youngstown Ohio
Dr. Lawrence Sshmetterer is an experienced and respected vein doctor in Youngstown, Ohio. He’s committed to providing high-quality patient care and improving his patients’ lives with the top vascular treatments and procedures.
What Dr. Schmetterer says about his work:
“My daily motivation is to pursue what I love: fixing people and making them better so that they can enjoy all that life has to offer in our Valley. I consider it a deep honor and privilege to be trusted and allowed to care for members of my community.”
Ready to get in touch with a vascular surgeon? Book your appointment with Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer today.