If you plan to treat your varicose veins or spider veins, you’ll want a highly qualified doctor to perform the procedure. Vascular surgeons, phlebologists, and plastic surgeons commonly perform vein treatments. Dermatologists perform some types of vein treatments. How do you find the best doctor who is right for you? Here are important factors to keep in mind. Top Things to Look For Find a doctor who: Is board certified and who specializes in varicose and spider vein treatment Has experience treating patients with your specific condition Accepts your insurance You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions If your vein treatment involves surgery, find a vascular surgeon or phlebologist who practices at a hospital known to have high-quality outcomes in vascular surgery. Here are five steps to finding the best doctor to treat your varicose or spider veins. 1. Ask Around Start by creating a list of potential doctors. Ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. If you’re starting without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search for the types of doctors who perform vein treatments on Healthgrades.com. Healthgrades.com shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends. 2. Research Credentials and Experience Take time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in his or her specialty and treats varicose and spider veins on a regular basis. The more experience a doctor has treating your condition or performing vein treatments, the better prepared the doctor is to anticipate and prevent complications. Also, confirm that the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You’ll find all this information on Healthgrades.com. 3. Examine Hospital Performance If you are having varicose vein surgery, a vascular surgeon or phlebologist will be performing it. Vein surgery often requires a team of highly skilled and experienced healthcare providers. For this reason, you should also consider the overall quality of vascular care at the hospital where the doctor practices. Find out where the doctors on your list can treat patients; then research those hospitals on Healthgrades.com. Healthgrades evaluates hospitals on mortality and complication rates of patients while in the hospital for a range of common procedures. If a particular hospital falls short in quality, determine if the surgeon also operates at a different facility. Otherwise, find a surgeon who treats patients at a hospital likely to offer you the best possible outcome. 4. Interview the Doctor As you narrow down your list of doctors, call each doctor’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor. Ask yourself if you are comfortable talking with the doctor. Does he or she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand? Here are some questions to ask the doctor: Do you typically treat patients like me? How many vein treatments like mine have you performed? What results do you usually see? Do you have before and after photographs for the treatment I’m interested in? How frequently do you encounter complications from the treatment? Do you have outcomes data to share? What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur? 5. Determine Your Insurance Benefit Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. Cosmetic vein treatments for spider veins are generally not covered by insurance. Vein surgery to treat symptomatic varicose veins usually is covered. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your varicose vein surgery, you need to choose a surgeon that participates in your plan. But keep in mind, just because a doctor participates in your insurance plan doesn’t mean he or she is a high-quality doctor. You still need to consider the doctor’s experience and expertise.