The vascular system of the body includes thousands of miles of arteries and veins as well as smaller blood vessels known as arterioles, venules and capillaries. Driven by the heart, the blood circulates continuously through this system. With time and age, however, the veins may develop problems. That’s when you need a vein doctor like David H. Bellamah, MD, of the Bellamah Vein Center in Missoula, Montana.
Vein Doctors Treat Vascular Problems
Technically, vascular problems can include heart disease, but most medical professionals who use this terminology are talking about vein problems such as varicose veins and spider veins. Both are actually the same problem and result because of valve incompetence; the only difference is size. Veins rely on muscle contractions to pump blood back to the heart and tiny flaps of tissue called valves to keep the blood from flowing backwards. When the valves fail or become incompetent, blood pools in the veins. These distended, tortuous veins are always a cosmetic issue. Spider veins don’t usually cause physical symptoms, but varicose veins can result in burning, aching or swelling in the legs.
What’s a Vein Doctor?
Technically, there is no such thing as a vein doctor – meaning it’s not a recognized medical specialty. Doctors who treat vascular problems may be interventional radiologists or interventional cardiologists, family doctors with special training or vascular surgeons. Of these, a vascular surgeon is the only one who can perform procedures like a vein stripping or other surgeries. All of these physicians attend medical school and complete a residency (the surgeon typically has the longest residency) and usually complete an additional period of training called a fellowship. Each requires a license to practice medicine and most choose to become board-certified in the specialty in which they train.
What Services Does a Vein Doctor Offer?
Most physicians who specialize in the treatment of vascular disease offer several office-based procedures. These minimally invasive procedures typically require no or only local anesthetic and can be performed in a doctor’s office or vein center. At Bellamah Vein Center, we offer the following:
Conservative treatment – we use strategies like compression therapy with special elastic stockings, weight loss, elevating the feet and legs, exercise and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen.
VeinGogh – uses tiny microbursts of energy delivered with a very fine probe to seal spider veins closed.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) – uses a fine catheter inserted into the vein to heat the vein, which makes it swell, collapse and then seal shut.
Phelbectomy – a mini-surgical procedure in which tiny cuts are made along the surface of the vein. The cut pieces are grasped with a special tool and removed.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) – lasers deliver localized heat and energy inside the vein, making it collapse and scar closed.
Sclerotherapy – this form of treatment is primarily for spider veins; an irritant solution is injected with a very fine needle to collapse the vein.
No matter what your vascular problem, we can help. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.