Some things in the world of medical care are clear. When your baby has a fever, you call the pediatrician. When you break a bone, you head to the orthopedist. But who do you turn to when your legs ache or cramp after a long day? How can you get to the bottom of your swollen ankles or that itchy, prickly feeling your legs have? Who can you turn to when that internet search for "restless legs" didn't seem to fit your description?

We often see our primary care doctors or internists the most, because they're the first person we turn to. Usually, no other doctor knows us better. An established relationship brings a level of comfort that we don't experience in new offices. Primary care doctors monitor our medications, manage our chronic conditions, and play a vital role in our overall health. We trust their judgment and rely on them for answers. They are a great place to start, and may be able to recommend a vein specialist they trust.

On the other hand, it may be a challenge to rely solely on your primary care doctor when it comes to venous insufficiency, the disease which causes varicose veins and a variety of leg symptoms. Getting seen for a non-urgent matter at a time that fits your schedule can be tricky. Most primary care doctors didn't receive training in vein care, especially varicose veins, as much of its understanding is based on recent advances in ultrasound. Without visible signs, they may not have veins in the forefront of their mind as a cause for how you feel. Dedicated vein specialists know the symptoms because that's all they do. They are experts, exclusively focused on making legs feel and look better. At The Vein Institute, you'll leave your first consultation appointment with a comprehensive treatment plan made just for you. You'll meet the doctor who will perform your procedures, who will explain everything about your veins in detail. Going straight to a vein specialist is likely the more efficient option.

You're probably thinking "But wait, don't I have to see my primary first to get a referral?" The answer? Probably not. At this time, the vast majority of insurance companies do not require a referral for varicose vein services. In fact, under 0.5% of The Vein Institute's patients have needed a referral. The Vein Institute staff can help you be sure you meet any requirements.

The answer of who to see first may not be the same for everyone. While primary care doctors offer more familiarity, a vein specialist will fast-track you to the relief you need. The Vein Institute knows the importance of primary care doctors, and always keeps them in the loop with detailed reports of treatment plans, procedures, and outcomes. They manage your vein care, so your primary care doctor can focus on everything else.