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What is Phlebology?

What is Phlebology? By St. Louis Phlebologist Dr. Wright

Phlebology is a body of knowledge that encompasses the totality of venous disease, not just varicose veins. Phlebologist Dr. Thomas Wright in St.Louis, discusses phlebology, varicose veins and vein disease.

Phlebology Is More than Just Cosmetic Vein Treatment

Varicose veins — the painful, protruding veins that cause many people to notice veins and their function — are a chronic condition symptomatic of underlying vein disease. Left untreated, the cause of varicose veins, venous insufficiency, can produce tissue congestion, edema and eventual impairment of tissue nutrition resulting in stasis and varicose ulcers. At any time, 2-3 million people in the United States have ulceration due to venous disease. One out of 10 is classified as disabled. This accounts for 100,000 lost work days at a cost per day of $19,672,000.00.

This often-neglected part of the circulation is now close to overtaking heart disease as the number one killer of Americans.

Many people consider varicose veins simply a cosmetic problem and needlessly suffer progression of this disease due to lack of knowledge.

Venous Ulcers — occur in 1-2% of the general adult population. Eighty percent have superficial reflux as an underlying component. Without expert treatment, 20% of these ulcers remain unhealed at 2 years. Over 66% of patients with ulcers will continue to have ulceration recurrence for at least 5 years without proper treatment.

Becoming a Phlebologist in St. Louis

To attain board certification in Phlebology, as Dr. Wright has, a physician must demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of venous disease as well as expert skill in performing venous vascular surgeries and procedures. Dr Wright is one of the first two hundred physicians nationally, and one of two in the state of Missouri, to demonstrate this commitment to obtain board certification. As a phlebologist, using newer, cutting-edge technologies in this precise field, he can effect healing in a fraction of the time and cost formerly required. As a result, patient satisfaction and quality of life are greatly enhanced.

Often insurance covers these health-maintaining procedures.

By approaching the treatment of venous patients from a comprehensive understanding of the whole spectrum of venous disease, board certified phlebologists, such as Dr Wright, are able provide complete care of chronic venous insufficiency, venous thromboembolic disease, varicose veins, telangiectatic (“spider”) veins and venous ulcers.

Learn More about the American College of Phlebology.

A Phlebologist’s Comprehensive Evaluation

Treatment of patients begins with a comprehensive evaluation at Dr Wright’s office which includes:

  • Assessing the patient’s concerns regarding varicose veins with a history of vein disease and focused physical exam.
  • Validating the diagnosis of reflux venous by using vascular ultrasound. Dr Wright is a certified medical sonographer.
  • Preparing a plan of care that addresses the diagnosis.
  • Implementing a plan of care that is safe and efficacious, and is satisfactory to the patient.
  • Treating venous reflux before complications occur: venous stasis, hyperpigmentation, lipodermatosclerosis (skin discoloration and changes) or ulcers occur.
  • Treating and lessening (“blood clot”) thromboembolic risk factors before progression.
  • Evaluating the results of the previous interventions and adjusting treatments.

In summary, a phlebologist is best able to address vein problems in a systematic and research-driven way that can lead to multiple benefits such as improved clinical outcomes, improved quality of life and cost saving. Vein health is not a cosmetic issue, nor is it simply a matter of pain management. Vein disease is a serious yet quite simple condition. While the field of phlebology ever expands to reach those affected by this disease, the public remains somewhat unaware of this disease, its causes and treatments.