FAQs

Who should be referred to a vascular surgeon?

The following is a list of common conditions that should be referred to a vascular surgeon. The list is categorized into emergencies which demands immediate referral; urgent conditions that should be referred within days and non-urgent patient who can afford to wait.

Emergencies:
  • Stroke or mini-strokes (TIA’s) with carotid artery narrowing
  • Ruptured or painful aortic aneurysm
  • Aortic or other major arterial dissection
  • Sudden loss of bowel circulation (mesenteric ischemia)
  • Sudden onset of cold, pale, painful, numb or weak limb
  • Large blood vessel injuries from accidents
  • Sudden upper or lower limb swelling due to deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Diabetic foot infection
Urgent Conditions:
  • Aortic and other arterial aneurysm in the chest, abdomen or pelvis
  • Chronic poor circulation to the bowel with weight loss and food avoidance behavior
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure or kidney failure with evidence of kidney artery narrowing
  • Aneurysm in the upper or lower limb
  • Painful upper or lower limb due to lack of circulation
  • Non-healing wound or gangrene in upper or lower limb
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Venous ulcers
  • Varicose veins that bled or are associated with skin ulcers or discoloration
Non-Urgent Conditions:
  • Asymptomatic carotid artery narrowing
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome causing upper limb pain and/or poor circulation
  • Leg pain with walking due to poor circulation
  • Varicose veins causing discomfort
  • Chronic leg swelling due to venous or lymphatic problem

Will I see the doctor?

Following an Ultrasound examination you may or may not be given an appointment with one of the doctors. Your physician will be notified if you require a vascular assessment.

Is my vein treatment necessary?

All patients with spider veins, varicose veins and other forms of venous insufficiency should adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle to help relieve symptoms and prevent further damage to veins and surrounding skin. While many people do not require treatment beyond regular exercise, weight control and graduated support stockings, some will choose additional treatments to improve appearance or relieve symptoms that might persist in spite of trying conservative therapy.

We do strongly recommend treatment for patients who have had or are at high risk of complications related to their varicose veins. These complications include superficial phlebitis, bleeding varicose veins and venous ulcers. Fortunately these complications are quite rare.

Which treatment is best?

No single treatment is superior to the others. The best treatment for any individual will often depend on the size, location and number of damaged veins. You must also consider the success, potential risks and costs of treatment. Your physician will discuss these issues with you prior to starting any treatment.

It is very common for an individual to require a combination of treatment options to successfully treat their varicose veins. All treatments apart from conservative measures have risks. Please note that these risks are small and the overall results are generally excellent in the hands of knowledgeable and experienced physicians.

Will my veins come back?

It is important to know that veins can reappear months or years after any form of treatment. Patients can reduce the risk of recurrent veins by complying with conservative treatment measures (weight loss, exercise and support stockings). Physicians can reduce this risk by offering the most appropriate treatment based on an understanding of the anatomy and underlying cause of spider or varicose veins. However, there are some factors we cannot change such as hereditary weaknesses in the walls and valves of the veins that remain.

The vast majority of patients will see significant improvement following treatment of their varicose veins. Most will have excellent, durable results that should be periodically assessed and may require continued minor treatments. A small number may require further major treatments. It is important that you discuss what you can realistically expect in the treatment of your spider or varicose veins with your physician.

Who should treat my varicose veins?

There are many physicians and clinics that offer treatment for spider and varicose veins. Most are very qualified and experienced. The most important factors to consider in making an informed choice are:

Credentials: You should ensure that the assessment and treatment is performed or at least closely supervised by an MD with experience in the management varicose veins and venous disease. Ask if the MD has any appropriate subspecialty training or credentialing pertaining to the treatment of venous disease.

Experience: How long has the clinic or physicians been treating patients with venous disease? Is this a large part of their practice?

Reputation: Patients previously treated at the clinic are invaluable resources. Have they been happy with their treatment?

Treatment Options: Some clinics may offer multiple treatment options on site. This may allow one to choose the best option(s) for their type and distribution of veins. Other clinics may focus on one specific treatment modality and will often be able to direct you to qualified physician or surgeon should you require or request an alternative approach. It is essential that the physician or staff should be aware of all current options to help guide your specific treatment choice.

Are there any resources for additional information?

While there are many resources for further information about venous insufficiency, spider veins and varicose veins, we have conveniently provided you with with some excellent LINKS in order to assist you.

You may wish to seek additional advice from your primary care physician. For assessment a physician referral is recommended. For information about self-referrals please contact our office.

What is the closest main intersection?

Duckworth Street & Bellfarm Road

Do I need to bring any special clothing?

No.

Can I take my daily medications prior to the ultrasound?

Yes – if you are fasting please take with a small sip of water early in the day.

Is the clinic wheelchair accessible?

Yes.

Do I have to pay for parking?

No.

Will I have a long wait to see the doctor?

Due to the influx of emergencies in our office we cannot predict the wait time, we do recommend bringing a book to read. We will do our best to accommodate our patients as best we can.

Do I need to fast for my Ultrasound?

Depending on the type of study – Yes; our office will inform you when you receive our reminder call a couple of days before your appointment.

Please note that fasting includes NOTHING BY MOUTH, no chewing gum, and no smoking. Medications can be taken with a small sip of water.

Will I receive results on the day of my Ultrasound?

No. The technologist cannot discuss diagnostic results – this must be done with the either your family physician or the surgeon.

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