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April 6, 2017

Dr. James Albert
Double Board Certified in Cardiovascular Surgery and Phlebology

For patients looking for vein care in Colorado today, for the record, there is no affiliation between Dr. Albert, Albert Vein Institute (AVI), and any vein practice that claims to be “Colorado’s largest network of vein clinics.”  Dr. Albert has practiced as COLORADO’S VEIN SPECIALIST for 11 years and counting after a prestigious career as a Cardiovascular Surgeon.  At AVI our focus is on quality of our vein care not quantity of vein clinic locations.  Dr. Albert is always your physician from your initial consultation throughout the duration of your care at either location in Denver and Colorado Springs.  AVI is proud of our accomplishment as Colorado’s only vein practice to receive the prominent IAC (Intersocietal Accreditation Commission) Accreditation for both Vein Center and Vascular Testing.

Click here to read related information in our blogs:  AVI: Colorado’s First and Only IAC Accredited Vein Center Facility, Accredited Vein Center Provides Best Outcomes, and Not All Vein Centers Are Equal.

The Internet has brought great things to our lives but has generated confusion for patients on issues described above. Phlebology practice websites (varicose veins and spider veins care) are filled with appealing glossy pictures and excessive irrelevant information about their providers that has absolutely nothing to do with the skill, experience, and yes, ethics of the provider who may actually be performing the patient’s procedures. Patients should beware of the bait and switch. Patients may originally meet one physician with adequate procedural qualifications. Subsequently they may be placed in the hands of another physician whose primary training was non-procedural and more focused around diagnosing the flu. Even worse they may be left in the care of an unsupervised physician assistant. There is no vetting of information placed on medical websites and patients should “trust but verify” by obtaining second opinions.

Click here to read related information in our blogs: Only the Doctor can be a “Phlebologist and Consumer Protection: Do your Homework.

There are no accredited fellowship-training programs in the State of Colorado that have official approval by a national overseeing healthcare accreditation organization.  The only official “Phlebology Fellowship” is at New York University in New York City.

AVI has earned the prominent and credible description of Colorado’s Vein Specialist from our time-proven system of accurate diagnosis, utilization of best available therapies, and appropriate follow up protocols to prevent recurrence. Dr. Albert has incorporated the lessons learned from 25 years of his Cardiac Surgical practice into an efficient and detail-oriented team approach with his participation and leadership for patient care in both facilities At AVI we frequently evaluate and complete treatment for patients who have received inadequate care elsewhere. Even if you are dissatisfied with vein treatment from years ago, you are likely still able to have improvement and resolution of your issues with Dr. Albert as your physician.   If you have any concerns about the treatment proposed for you at another vein practice, Dr. Albert and the AVI team welcome you to visit us for a second opinion.  We will provide an honest assessment of the accuracy and appropriateness of what has been proposed for you.

Posted in Blog, Featured by amccollough
March 22, 2017


Receiving free vein evaluations and free ultrasounds sounds like a great idea. However, in the wrong circumstances you, the patient, could become entangled in an audit. Government-administered insurance plans like Medicare and Tricare do not allow physicians to provide complimentary services valued at greater than $15.00 that may influence a patient’s decision in where to seek care. According to the Office of The Inspector General, this act carries a fine of $10,000.00 per violation. Any non-billed (free) discussion with a physician or non-billed (free) ultrasound study, no matter how minor it may seem, is defined as a violation for Medicare and Tricare patients. Federal agencies have recently issued significant warnings to physicians with respect to this issue.

Additionally, both Government healthcare plans and private insurance require a physician, not a registered nurse, to be the one ordering appropriate ultrasound studies. If you are a Medicare or Tricare patient who has received either a free physician evaluation or has had an ultrasound study ordered by a registered nurse, that physician’s office could be audited and the patient could be asked to testify. The same concerns exist with ordering of ultrasound studies by a registered nurse for all private insurance. Make sure your physician is in compliance with these issues, as what you receive for free may not end up being such a bargain.

Posted in Blog by amccollough
February 16, 2017

Dr. James Albert
Double Board Certified in Cardiovascular Surgery and Phlebology

Phlebology is the specialty of medicine dedicated to the treatment of venous disease. Phlebologists are physicians who treat patients with venous disorders such as varicose and spider veins.  Essentially, all physicians who practice Phlebology have transitioned from another medical specialty. That is why most Phlebologists are double-board certified in their original specialty AND Phlebology.  ONLY physicians can sit for the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine Board (ABVLM) exam.  This written exam provides no assurance that a provider is  proven to have the technical skills to perform venous procedures, rather simply documents basic academic knowledge.

Nurses and Physicians Assistants are not Physicians and therefore are not Phlebologists. Beware of chain vein centers and other vein clinics that substitute physicians with nurses and physician assistants and market them as “Phlebologists.” Some vein clinics have gone further by associating these mid-level providers as physicians or doctors. These mid-level providers are qualified to assist in venous procedures but are NOT approved by Medicare to perform procedures independently. They are appropriately compensated at lower levels than Physicians.  The motivation for substituting physicians with mid-level providers is likely motivated by financial savings and could never be about improving patient care. Patients looking for the highest level of medical/surgical experience and skill for the treatment of their venous disease should beware of these so-called “Fake Phlebologists.”

Posted in Blog, Vein Information by amccollough
January 5, 2017

css3“Anyone can develop Deep Vein Thrombosis,” says James D. Albert, MD, Founder and Chief Physician of Albert Vein Institute. “Risk factors include any circumstance where decreased mobilization or traumatic injury occurs. Examples include general anesthesia and prolonged air or car travel. Surgical procedures, such as knee, hip or foot surgery, are also risk factors as they result in tissue injury and prolonged immobilization of the leg. Knee braces or ankle boots, used after surgery, are also frequently used after traumatic lower extremity injury that may not require surgery but need immobilization for healing. Post-surgical or posttraumatic pain from the aforementioned may mask the pain caused by the DVT, and braces or casts may visually obscure the leg swelling.” Dr. Albert says patients need to pay close attention in these situations, to watch for symptom changes and be ready to go in for an accurate venous ultrasound exam to determine the presence or absence of DVT.


Read Full Article Here:  http://www.coloradospringsstyle.com/November-December-2016/Deep-Vein-Thrombosis/

Posted in Blog by amccollough
December 7, 2016

When considering where to seek evaluation and treatment for Varicose and Spider veins, physician experience and background is what insures appropriate treatment with the best long-term results. Albert Vein Institute (AVI) is Colorado’s ONLY IAC (Intersocietal Accreditation Commission) Accredited “Vein Center”, with convenient locations in both Denver and Colorado Springs. Don’t be mislead by business-oriented “chain vein” facilities that promote their extensive number of facilities or business awards. In healthcare, larger is not always better. Making sure your actual provider has had advanced microsurgical training and extensive venous experience is critical to obtaining good results. In the “chain vein” model, the most experienced physicians can never be at nine or more locations simultaneously. Your treatment plan and potential procedures may be determined and performed by less experienced individuals.



Albert Vein Institute (AVI) has achieved the VEIN CENTER Accreditation from IAC (Intersocietal Accreditation Commission), which makes them the first and only facility in Colorado to obtain this distinguished recognition. Dr. James D. Albert, Double Board Certified in Cardiovascular Surgery for over 30 years and board certified Phlebologist for the last 10 years, will always determine your appropriate treatment plan and perform all endovenous ablation procedures if indicated. Look for board certifications in your medical providers that actually prepared the practice to perform venous procedures. Passing the board exam in Phlebology and Lymphatic Medicine is an academic achievement but declares nothing about procedural expertise. Put yourself first by doing your own research. It will help you to make the correct choice when looking for minimally invasive vein care.

Posted in Blog by amccollough
October 18, 2016

Being an “IAC Accredited Vein Center” means everything when searching for vein care among the many providers claiming to be vein specialists, some who are not even physicians. Lucky for today’s patients, varicose and spider veins are treated with minimally invasive procedures and usually in an outpatient setting. The important issue now is how to select the vein specialist or vein care practice that provides the highest level of medical/surgical training, background, experience, judgment and safety to perform these new minimally invasive procedures.


Dr. James D. Albert, Founder and Practicing Physician of Albert Vein Institute (AVI) in Colorado, has led AVI to become the State’s “First and Only” IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER. This medical milestone in providing minimally invasive vein care and treatments assures patients that AVI is among the finest and safest in the nation. This “Vein Center” Accreditation should give confidence to every patient that you will be taken care of by the “best of the best” physician and medical staff providing vein treatments today.


As you research vein care specialists on line, for instance, you will notice a variety of providers and medical practices and maybe even cosmetic spas performing vein care. You may see words like vein clinic, vein institute, vein center, vein chain with a call center, vein specialist, vein provider, hospital-based vein care and more. Note: some hospital-based vein providers are still using general anesthesia which is no longer viewed as on-the-forefront of today’s minimally invasive procedures. How do you possibly understand what all of these different terms mean when choosing a physician or vein care practice with the most credibility and surgical skill-set in providing the treatments for your varicose and spider veins? One answer is to look for a vein care practice that has earned the title of “Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER.”


The IAC recently created this national certification for today’s “Vein Centers.” There are about 100 IAC Accredited Vein Centers nationwide. The IAC states that it is “the most broad based accrediting body in the industry serving a wide-range of medical specialties.” They have done the homework for patients seeking vein treatments by rigorously evaluating a vein practice that has applied for this Vein Center distinction.  This recognition ensures that the IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER “meets benchmarks for quality based on resources, training and outcomes,” according to the IAC. It just doesn’t get any better than this recognition when a patient is seeking vein treatment among the different physicians and non-physicians providing minimally invasive vein procedures. This Commission, whose goal is demonstrating a vein practice’s commitment to quality patient care through accreditation, is one of healthcare’s most reputable overseeing organizations in the country. In addition, the IAC certifies many other medical specialities but the ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER is among their newest recognitions.  For the patient, this IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER is your guiding light for responsible, safe, on-the-forefront and outstanding vein care. The Commission bestowed this seal-of-approval to AVI only after a rigorous series of evaluations and visits. Here is where you need to be cautious.


There are several providers who use the phrase “vein center” or “vein clinic” but they are not officially an “Accredited Vein Center” unless it specifically says IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER.  Be wise when seeing the phrase “vein center” to understand what it does and doesn’t mean. Also, don’t be confused for the IAC has a certification that many vein providers have earned called the  “IAC Accreditation in Vascular Testing.” This vascular testing certification is for the Ultrasound Testing and Interpretation components of a vein practice. It is only one important qualification that a vein practice needs to officially achieve recognition as an IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER.  AVI has the IAC Accreditation in Vascular Testing.


There are other important qualifications to look for when researching the variety of vein care providers. First, make sure you find a vein specialist who is a Board Certified physician. Since today’s minimally invasive procedures are surgical, it is logical to look for a Board Certified Physician or Surgeon who has comprehensive experience with microsurgical skills. In addition to the important qualification of Physician Board Certification, you should find a Board Certified doctor who is Double Board Certified in Phlebology (the treatment of veins) as well. Be cautious about choosing a provider who claims to be a “Phlebologist.” That provider is not likely a physician since only physicians can take the Board Certification exam for Phlebology, given by the American Board of Lymphatic and Venous Medicine (ABLVM). Find a vein practice that is 100% devoted to the treatment of varicose and spider veins and has been in practice for a good amount of time with an emphasis on patient outcome. Find a vein practice that only offers venous care and no other medical services that may interfere with the physician’s time and single focus of providing vein care. In today’s healthcare environment, minimally invasive vein treatments involve enough time and dedication for an entire medical practice and physician to just be devoted and focused on these procedures and care. There are some vein care providers who have other medical responsibilities with a hospital or within their medical practice and are not exclusively treating varicose and spider vein patients. Many times a vein clinic will advertise under the name of a particular physician or group of physicians to attract patients to that vein practice when, in fact, that particular physician will not be involved directly in your vein treatments or evaluation or you will get the vein doctor of the moment throughout the duration of your care. The vein care providers that only perform minimally invasive vein care, have been providing this exclusive care for a long time, and have built a reputable vein treatment practice are the most experienced to understand all of the intricacies of successful vein care and procedures. They are the ones who are involved in minimally invasive care day in and day out. They are the experts for a reason. At AVI, Dr. Albert is your vein care physician at both Front Range locations. He is 100% devoted and focused on providing your venous disease care.


The highest trained and experienced Board Certified Vein Care Physician in your area should evaluate your varicose veins and spider veins. How do you know if your vein issues are cosmetic or medical? There are some cosmetic vein issues but let the appropriate vein specialist at an IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER evaluate you before you go through any varicose or spider vein treatments.  At this time, it is comforting to know that a reputable overseeing healthcare body has done the homework for you when choosing your vein care specialist by recognizing today’s vein practices with this ever so relevant and credible recognition as an IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER.


Dr. Albert is Colorado’s leading vein care specialist. He believes patients should understand how to make the best choice when choosing their vein care provider since there are many types of specialists and clinics performing various aspects of vein care.  Albert Vein Institute (AVI) has two convenient locations on the Front Range, in Denver and Colorado Springs. Dr. Albert has been a Board Certified Cardiovascular Surgeon for over 20 years and Board Certified Phlebologist for over ten years. As your physician at AVI, he brings the highest level of medical and surgical expertise to all vein patients.  He personally provides a complimentary consultation to all new patients before any testing or treatments are done. He will tell you what is the right course of care and treatment. He will also tell you if you do not need vein treatments. Dr. Albert performs all venous ablation procedures at AVI.  You can trust your vein care to Dr. James D. Albert.  AVI is a world-class vein care practice and the IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER is proof of this achievement. There is no one more qualified and experienced to provide your vein care in Colorado than Dr. Albert.


Learn more about the IAC Accredited Vein Center at

www.intersocietal.org/vein and AlbertVein.com


Posted in Blog by Dr. James D. Albert
July 14, 2016

Albert Vein Institute has been granted accreditation in Superficial Venous Evaluation and Management by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). Dr. James Albert voluntarily underwent a thorough review of operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC accreditation is granted only to facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive evaluation process.


With Dr. Albert’s unparalleled expertise, personal dedication to each patient, and highest quality of care, AVI is the first and only vein care facility in the state of Colorado to receive the IAC Vein Center accreditation!


What’s the difference between an IAC Accredited Vein Center and having an IAC Accreditation in Vascular Testing? A LOT!

If you are searching for vein care, you can be certain that you will receive the highest level of competence and care when choosing a vein specialist that has been recognized as an IAC Accredited Vein Center. This “Vein Center” recognition is a consumer’s best friend when trying to decipher the variety of vein providers today. The achievement of Albert Vein Institute (AVI) as an IAC Accredited Vein Center is in addition to the certification that AVI has previously earned with our IAC Accreditation in Vascular Testing. The IAC Accreditation in Vascular Testing means that AVI has the seal of approval from a reputable overseeing healthcare body for Ultrasound Interpretation and Testing. In order to receive the  “highest distinction” as an IAC Accredited Vein Center,  it is required for a vein clinic to also have the IAC Accreditation in Vascular Testing.  The Vascular Testing Accreditation is just one of many benchmarks of competence that an IAC Accredited Vein Center has achieved in its care and expertise.  Albert Vein Institute (AVI) is among an elite group of about 100 IAC Accredited Vein Center across the Country and the first and only one of its kind in Colorado which should be comforting for patients and referring physicians to know the difference. 


Please click here to read the official press release:


Posted in Blog by Jen Johnson
May 10, 2016

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was introduced Americans were told, “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” For millions of Coloradans, nothing could be further from the truth.

Patients need to be aware of changes in the healthcare landscape if they want to choose and keep the Phlebologist of their choice. As discussed in our article “How to choose a vein specialist,” different physicians from extremely varied backgrounds and skill sets perform Phlebology procedures. Not all Phlebologists have the same experience based on their original medical sub-specialty, percentage of time they commit to Phlebology, and their case volume. Here are a few things patients need to consider if they want to have full choice to pick the most qualified Phlebologist.

Insurance Company Physician Network

It is becoming more common under the ACA for Health Insurance companies to promote limited physician panels under the disguise of improved patient care. The truth is, maximum patient choice provides opportunity to receive the best care. Frequently the most qualified physicians are removed from panels, as they are the most popular in delivering needed services. Excluding the most qualified physicians from panels decreases services provided for patients and limits Insurance Company expenditures.

Make sure the Phlebologist of your choice is included in the Insurance plan you choose

Frequently the least expensive plans are those companies who utilize a “physician employee HMO model” limit choice. Patients may be forced to make an unpopular decision between 1) utilizing a less qualified physician, 2) paying “out of network” cost, or 3) waiting prolonged periods of time to change insurance and thus being allowed to use the Phlebologist of their choice.

Referrals to Phlebologists from Multi-Specialty Plan Medical Groups and Hospital-Employed Physicians

Most patients assume that physician referrals to sub-specialists are based exclusively on the skill and expertise of the physician they are being referred to. Unfortunately that has changed as well. Physicians in multi-specialty groups or hospital-employed physicians are frequently encouraged by their employer to refer patients to sub-specialty physicians within their same network or institution. Referring patients to other physicians employed in the same network undoubtedly improves the fiscal health of the organization.

Patients need to be aware that, unfortunately, “business decisions” about sub-specialty referrals may come into play as equally as the quality and experience of the sub-specialist. In medical sub-specialties that have existed for long periods of time and for those for which there are numerous physicians practicing the sub-specialty, the issue is less critical. For Phlebology, which is an extremely new field, has few physicians exclusively committed to the field, and the expertise and is varied, choice of physician is extremely important.

Patients need to remember that they have a choice. The overwhelming majority of superficial venous problems involve elective decisions and patients have ample time to make decisions. Patients should have absolute confidence in their Phlebologist before initiating treatment and should consider second opinions if they have any concerns with the Phlebololgist to whom they were referred. Remember, not all “phlebologists” today are Board Certified. Make sure your phlebologist is a Board Certified Phlebologist.

Copyright 2016 Albert Vein Institute

Posted in Blog by Jen Johnson
May 10, 2016

Beware of false advertising claims – Are the Claims Provable?

You have probably seen claims from other Vein Centers such as, “We have performed the most procedures” or ”More patients in Colorado have been treated by us” or “Our ultrasound diagnostic accuracy is in the top 10% of the nation.” These claims should be considered suspect since there is no published data from other Vein Centers for comparison. And these types of claims should also be considered potentially illegal to make; prospective patients should be suspicious as to the need for a legitimate Vein Center to make these false claims. Malpractice Insurance carriers are very interested in monitoring false medical advertising.

Beware of false significance of credentialing.

There are no Board Accredited Phlebology fellowships in Colorado. The only accredited Phlebology fellowship is at New York University in New York City. Any reference to a Phlebology Fellowship in Colorado is unrecognized and non-accredited by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Any statement suggesting completion of a non-accredited fellowship declares exclusive excellence (top % of nation) is false and misleading.

Board certification of any type is simply an admission ticket to allow a physician to prove his/her value to patients and referring physicians. Passing a test does not prove anyone’s capability to be a competent Phlebologist. It is a minimum requirement. A combination of a high level surgical skill set in combination with an extensive experience level in treating venous disease, supported by an exclusive commitment to Phlebology, is a good recipe for success.

Do I need an Ultrasound?

Other than identification of symptomatic suspected superficial or deep vein thrombosis, duplex ultrasound should be performed selectively. Duplex ultrasound reflux studies are only indicated in the presence of symptoms consistent with venous insufficiency (aching, burning, itching, heaviness, leg fatigue, and significant swelling associated with varicose veins). Asymptomatic patients with spider veins in most circumstances do not need ultrasound analysis to determine treatment.

Offering “free venous screening” to Medicare, Medicare Advantage patients or patients with standard insurance that follow Medicare guidelines is not indicated. It’s a violation of the Office of the Inspector General 2002 report delineating that it is illegal to offer a Medicare patient any services that are valued at more than $10.00 that may potentially influence where the patient pursues treatment. These offenses may result in a $10,000.00 fine per incident.

Medicare does not sanction vein screening since there are no unsuspected conditions in asymptomatic patients that would require treatment to improve quality or quantity of life. At this point in time there is only one vein treatment facility of the six total in Colorado Springs that offers free vein screenings.

Who is going to perform my treatment?

Vein Centers may provide you with a “bait and switch” approach, whereby you are told that one doctor will perform any needed procedures. You then discover that this physician is somehow providing services simultaneously at 7 different Vein Centers across locations 500 miles apart while meeting full-time obligations as a physician at a hospital in the region. Make sure to do your research about the credentials and employment responsibilities of the person actually performing your procedure. You may find yourself initially seen by an Interventional Radiologist and then have your procedure performed by a Family Practice Physician who has completed a non-accredited fellowship, or potentially by a Physician Assistant.

The Albert Vein Institute (AVI) has been providing state-of-the-art vein care since 2006. Initially established in Colorado Springs, AVI expanded to Lone Tree in 2012 to meet the demands of our Denver patients. Dr. James D. Albert RPVI is double board certified in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Phlebology, and he is exclusively committed to the treatment of venous disease at these 2 facilities. Although Dr. Albert is certified as a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation, and AVI’s vascular lab is IAC accredited for vascular interpretation, and AVI received Best Vein Care Premier Status when Best Vein Care was in existence, we feel no need to inappropriately boast about these credentials. We feel they are required as minimum standards for a state-of-the-art Vein Institute.

Albert Vein Institute (AVI) has No association and No relationship to an organization that uses any name or abbreviation similar to AVI. Albert Vein Institute as been associated with the abbreviation AVI since its inception.

We wish to clarify the issue, apologize for any confusion our patients have incurred, and let our patients know we will be using all methods under the law to protect our name and goodwill from this piracy.

Copyright 2016 Albert Vein Institute.

Posted in Blog by Jen Johnson
March 21, 2016

The Field of Phlebology (vein care) arose because Vascular Surgeons who traditionally treated patients with venous disease were not exclusively focused on veins. In fact, the majority of a Vascular Surgeon’s training is concentrated around the treatment of arterial disease rather than varicose veins. The original emphasis was on arterial surgical procedures leaving the treatment of venous disease as an after thought, which can lead to less than satisfactory results. Vascular Surgery Board Certification does not always mean expertise in Vein Treatment Care. Patients began looking for physicians who focus exclusively on venous disease (varicose and spider veins) and turned away from providers who primarily focus on arterial disease.


There are no Board Accredited Phlebology Fellowships in Colorado. The only accredited Phlebology Fellowship is through the medical program at New York University in New York City. Any reference to a “Phlebology Fellowship” in Colorado is unrecognized and non-accredited by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. The same applies to any claim of a Phlebology Fellowship that follows the guidelines set forth by the ABVLM.


This claim is not accredited by any overseeing medical organization. Any statement that suggests that completion of a non-accredited Fellowship declares exclusive excellence (top % of nation) is false and misleading.


Board Certification of any type is simply an admission ticket to allow a physician to prove his/her value to patients and referring physicians. Passing a written test does not prove anyone’s capability to be a competent Phlebologist. It is a minimum requirement. A combination of a high-level surgical skill set in combination with an extensive experience level in treating venous disease, supported by an exclusive commitment to Phlebology is a good indicator for success.


The advancement of minimally-invasive catheter-based ablation technology has radically changed the treatment of venous disease by eliminating the need for inpatient general anesthesia. In fact using general anesthesia for these procedures is no longer considered to be within the standard of care. The fact that general anesthesia is no longer necessary for vein treatments has allowed a variety of physicians with diverse primary specialties to “dabble” in the treatment of venous disease. In the state of Colorado, this includes General Surgeons, Interventional Radiologists, Vascular Surgeons, Family Practice Physicians, Anesthesiologists, and Cardiovascular Surgeons. There are even non-physicians performing vein care. The specialized Field of Phlebology is so new that all of these different specialties are allowed to sit for the Phlebology Board Exam. Since the exam is a didactic test and does not evaluate the physician’s technical ability or the quality of the services provided by the clinic, a false sense of security for patients may result.


Advanced medical progress in minimally-invasive venous disease has become a great advantage for patients. Unfortunately, the lack of regulation has created great confusion for patients in understanding the benefits of choosing a qualified physician. This has allowed many providers, with incomplete training, to perform the surgical venous procedures ad provide inadequate follow-up treatment plans, resulting in less than satisfactory results.




  1. CARDIOVASCULAR SURGEONS have extensive training and experience in vascular and micro-surgical techniques with special expertise pertaining to the saphenous vein, which is used in Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. This is the same vein that malfunctions in patients with varicose veins. Those Cardiovascular Surgeons who obtain additional training including Board Certification in Phlebology and those who are certified for RPVI (Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation) are experienced in Ultrasound Interpretation and techniques.
  2. INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGISTS have no surgical training, but are well versed in Ultrasound Interpretation and techniques. Many Interventional Radiologists perform Endovenous Laser Ablation but do not perform the micro-surgical Phlebectomy because they have no surgical training. Not using micro-surgical Phlebectomy as part of vein care may result in clotted, painful varicose veins.
  3. SKIN LASER PHYSICIANS. Physicians who primarily do this work without previously having completed formal vascular or surgical residency programs would have had no formal training in Utrasound nor have any training in microsurgical procedures. They work on your skin (topical) versus where the veins are located inside of your body.
  4. ANESTHESIOLOGISTS have no Ultrasound or surgical experience.
  5. GENERAL SURGEONS have surgical experience but are not trained in vascular disease. Ultrasound interpretation or techniques, and vascular surgical techniques, are not a part of their Board Certification.
  6. VASCULAR SURGEONS have vascular surgical training but in general focus on arterial disease. Recent graduates receive some training in Ultrasound Interpretation and techniques; however, RPVI certification (Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation) is now a prerequisite for vascular surgery Board Certification and should be obtained by Vascular Surgeons treating venous disease.
  7. FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIANS have minimal if any microsurgical training and no formal training in Ultrasounds Interpretation and techniques. Some Family Practice Physicians claim to be Phlebologists; however, look for a Board Certified Phlebologist if you are considering a Family Practice Physician for vein care.
  8. There are a variety of physicians and non-physicians claiming to be Phlebologists. Make sure your Phlebologist is Board Certified in Phlebology.


In conclusion, patients should consider choosing a medical provider who has Board Certification in Cardiovascular Surgery (which means surgical AND microsurgical experience as well as a comprehensive understanding of the cardiovascular system), who is Board Certified through the Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) for respected Ultrasound accreditation, has been Board Certified in Phlebology for an extended period of time and is dedicated exclusively to the Field of Phlebology (otherwise, vein care, for the physician or practice not 100% working in the Field of Phlebology is just one of many other medical positions or responsibilities in a practice or hospital system). It is the combination of all of these Board Certifications and Accreditations and the dedicated practice of venous disease that make Dr. James D. Albert one-of-a-kind in the exceptional understanding and skill that he provides to patients at Albert Vein Institute (AVI).

Copyright 2016 Albert Vein Institute

Posted in Blog by Jen Johnson