When I look at the data about visitors to my website, I see that people are finding me from all over the world. While that’s awesome and flattering, I can’t expect that patients would be willing to commute from The Netherlands or Australia to have me provide their varicose vein treatment and spider vein treatment….even if I believe that I have the best vein clinic in Chicagoland!
I try to keep my blog posts informative and fun…and I tend to end them with suggestions to give me a call to schedule appointments. Since that would be really impractical for some…and since there are plenty of capable doctors providing care around the world (I know this because I meet them at conferences)…I figured that I should provide some guidance to those who wouldn’t be able to become one of my patients.
So, with those people in mind, here is a list of 5 questions to ask your vein doctor at your initial appointment. I’ll also add the answers that I give to patients when they ask me those questions. Here goes:
1. Why did this happen to me?
Part of the reason why I spend a full hour with new patients is to get to know them and their issues. But it also gives me time to teach them about vein disease in general and what specifically led to their particular issues. You can’t expect everyone to spend as much time with you, but they will likely either give you information or point you in the right direction of where you can learn more. Aside from the teaching I do, I tell patients to browse around my website. Also, I have written a few free, informative, useful guides that patients have found to be helpful: Click the link(s) below.
-Understanding Varicose Veins Guide
-Spider Vein Treatment Options Guide
2. What are my treatment options?
Your provider should be able to give you the pro’s and cons, risks & benefits of available procedures. It’s also important to note that doing nothing is always an option; but bear in mind that chronic vein disease is progressive and being proactive can prevent potentially avoidable signficant signs and symptoms of vein disease. As a patient, you need the best, most complete information you can get to make an informed decision. I treat my patients as the “President of Their Body”; doctors are advisors…and we need to be able to provide the best advice possible for the Pres to make her/his decision.
3. Who provides treatments? Doctor? Physician Assistant? Nurse Practitioner? Nurse?
In my practice, a physician is the only one who provides all the care a patient receives. It’s me. And I’m certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine. Board certification isn’t the be-all/end-all…but it does demonstrate that docs like me took some extra time to demonstrate objectively that they learned some important things along the way.
4. Is it possible for my treatments to be covered by insurance/Medicare?
In general, consultations are covered visits. Procedures may be coverable depending on the nature of a patient’s problems and on particulars in their insurance policies. Coverage doesn’t necessarily mean “100% paid for by the insurance carrier”; typically patients are responsible for part of their treatment costs. These are things that can be estimated prior to providing treatment. I encourage all of my patients to get such an estimate so that there are no surprises (I don’t know about you, but I really dislike surprises…take note all the party planners out there…my birthday’s next week). Also, there is another free guide about Costs of Vein Care Treatments that I wrote. Check it out:
Understanding the Cost of Vein Treatments
5.If I have questions about my treatments, who will discuss them with me?
In my practice, I give all of my patients my email address and cell phone number. I actually call my patients after procedures and check to see how they are doing, answer any questions, address any concerns. I’m not sure how many other practices will afford you that opportunity, but someone should be available to answer your questions in a timely way.
So…if you are in the Chicagoland area…by all means, schedule a consultation appointment with me by calling 847-272-8346 or Click the Button Below.
Request Consultation Appointment
For the rest of you out there, a good place to start to find an informed, capable doc is to check on the American College of Phlebology website:
The patient information portal has a place to look up providers in your area. I’m pretty sure their directory only lists docs in the U.S.
For those of you reading this outside of the United States, there is also a “find a physician” portal on the website of the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine:
And…If you would like to become a regular subscriber to my Vein Blog and receive new posts delivered fresh to your in-box on a regular basis, Click The Button Below!
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See you soon!!!