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Phlebologist vs Vascular Surgeon – What’s the Difference?

Phlebologist vs Vascular Surgeon – What’s the Difference?

We often hear this question, and since our clinic, Texas Vein and Cosmetic Specialists, is a vein treatment clinic in Houston, Texas, we want to be sure to answer this question clearly for our community.

It is understandable that people will often confuse phlebologists and vascular surgeons because their roles are quite similar: both deal with medical conditions concerning our bodies’ veins. That said, there are some essential differences between the two.

What is a Phlebologist?

A phlebologist is a medical specialist who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the veins. The field of phlebology deals primarily with venous diseases, including conditions such as varicose veins, spider veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and chronic venous insufficiency.

Is a Phlebotomist a Doctor?

Phlebologists are typically doctors who have undergone specialized training in phlebology or vascular medicine. They possess a comprehensive understanding of the circulatory system, specifically the veins and how they function. They are knowledgeable about the various diagnostic techniques used to assess venous disorders, such as ultrasound imaging, and can interpret the results to determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

Phlebologists often work in specialized clinics or vascular centers where they focus solely on venous disorders. They play a crucial role in diagnosing and managing various vein-related conditions, helping patients improve their symptoms, preventing complications, and enhancing their overall quality of life.

What is a Vascular Surgeon? 

A vascular surgeon is a medical specialist who focuses on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases and disorders of the blood vessels, excluding those of the heart and brain. The blood vessels include arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels throughout the body. They provide comprehensive care for patients with all manner of vascular conditions. 

Vascular surgeons undergo extensive training in general surgery and subsequently specialize in vascular surgery. They are knowledgeable about the entire circulatory system and have expertise in managing conditions affecting blood vessels, such as atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries due to plaque buildup), aneurysms (abnormal ballooning of blood vessels), peripheral arterial disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins, and vascular malformations.

What Treatments Can Vascular Surgeons Perform?

Vascular surgeons are skilled in both open surgical procedures and minimally invasive techniques, such as endovascular interventions. They can perform a range of surgical treatments, including bypass grafting (redirecting blood flow around a blocked or damaged blood vessel), endarterectomy (removing plaque from inside an artery), angioplasty (opening narrowed or blocked arteries using a balloon), stenting (inserting a mesh-like tube to keep an artery open), and thrombectomy (removing blood clots).

Vascular surgeons often work closely with other healthcare professionals, including phlebologists, interventional radiologists, cardiologists, and other specialists, to provide comprehensive care for patients with vascular conditions. They play a critical role in managing complex vascular diseases, preventing complications, and improving patients’ overall vascular health.

Phlebologist vs Vascular Surgeon – Why Is Differentiating Them Important?

Understanding the distinction between a phlebologist and a vascular surgeon is crucial for patients seeking vein treatments, as it determines the qualifications and expertise of the physician. A doctor who is solely credentialed as a phlebologist is limited to performing basic treatments for varicose veins, spider veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and certain types of wound care, while a vascular surgeon has all of the same training as a phlebologist, plus the education, training, and experience to treat the entire vascular system. Said another way, a Phlebologist is a medical professional trained to treat a relatively narrow set of medical conditions related to the vascular system, while a Vascular Surgeon has the education, training, and experience to treat the full range of conditions related to the vascular system. 

Choose a Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon To Treat Your Veins

Our Dr. Michael Bardwil is a board-certified vascular surgeon from Houston, TX, having earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He subsequently completed his internship and residency training in General Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and he completed his fellowship in Vascular Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Related post: Do You Need to See a Vascular Surgeon for Varicose Veins?

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Dr. Michael Bardwil
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