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Albert Vein Institute: Choosing the Most Trusted Vein Expert
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Choosing the Most Trusted Vein Expert

Choosing the Most Trusted Vein Expert

The History of Phlebology:

We have put together a quick history of the vein care industry, along with important facts every vein care patient should know. The specialization of Phlebology (vein care) arose because the vascular surgeons who traditionally treated patients with venous disease were not exclusively focused on veins. Contrary to popular belief, board certification in Vascular Surgery does not necessarily mean expertise in vein care; in fact, the majority of a vascular surgeon’s training is focused on arterial disease rather than venous disease. Because vein care was something of an afterthought for this kind of surgeon, the quality of the treatments was inconsistent—and the need arose for a more specialized provider who was familiar with the intricacies of vein treatment.


Minimally Invasive Treatment:

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 within industry best practices. Of course, this is good news for those suffering from venous disease—in the best-case scenario, patient recovery time decreases dramatically, with no impact on results.


How Specialists Measure Up

Is your doctor qualified? What you should know about common medical specialties.


Family practice physicians and anesthesiologists have minimal, if any, microsurgical training and usually no formal training in ultrasound interpretation and techniques.


Interventional radiologists have no surgical training, but are well versed in ultrasound interpretation and techniques. Many interventional radiologists are qualified to perform endovenous laser ablation, but are unable to perform micro-surgical phlebectomy because they have no surgical training. This can lead to clotted, painful varicose veins.


Skin laser physicians cannot be officially accredited, as there are no accredited residency training programs specifically for use of skin lasers. Physicians who primarily do this work without previously having completed formal vascular or surgical residency would have had no formal training in ultrasound, nor have any training in microsurgical procedures.


General surgeons have surgical experience, but are not trained in vascular disease. Ultrasound interpretation and vascular surgical techniques are not part of their board certification.


Vascular surgeons are trained in vascular surgical techniques, but are typically focused on arterial rather than venous disease. Recent graduates may have some training in ultrasound interpretation and techniques. RPVI (Registered Physician Vascular Interpretation) certification is now a prerequisite for vascular surgery board certification and should be obtained by any vascular surgeon treating vein disease.


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 most patients with varicose veins.


Cardiovascular surgeons are not only exceptionally trained to perform vein procedures, they are outstandingly qualified from their Cardiovascular surgery training and experience in the cardiovascular system to understand the causes and effects of vein problems. This experience credentials them as among the most qualified to evaluate and treat venous disease. Those cardiovascular surgeons who obtain additional training, and those who qualify for Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) certification are experienced in ultrasound interpretation and techniques.


In conclusion, patients should consider choosing a vein care provider, like Dr. James D.  Albert, who has the highest levels of experience and recognitions by being a Board Certified Cardiovascular Surgeon and is a Board Certified Phlebologist as well is certified through the Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI).  The vein care provider and practice should be devoted  exclusively to the Field of Phlebology and have been performing minimally invasive procedures for a credible amount of time. There are some vein practices where the physicians have other responsibilities within a hospital system or medical practice and will not necessarily be on site at the vein practice.


Today’s vein care is a prominent medical specialty where the new minimally invasive vein procedures should require that a practice be solely dedicated to providing only vein care. In addition, there will be comfort by choosing a vein practice that has  national certification as an IAC ACCREDITED VEIN CENTER (Intersocietal Accreditation Commission). It is the combination of being an accredited vein center with the vein provider’s high-level qualifications, certifications and experience that assure each patient will receive the safest, most advanced and experienced vein care.


Vein Care Fellowships: Caution

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 that completion of a non-accredited fellowship declares exclusive excellence (top percent of the nation, for instance) is false and misleading.

In addition to understanding what the term “Phlebology Fellowship in Colorado” means when it comes to your vein specialist, it is also important make sure that claiming to be a Phlebologist is not the

same qualifying credential as being a “Board Certified Phlebologist.” Only Physicians qualify to take the Board Exam given by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine to become Board Certified in Phlebology.

Anyone who just uses the term “Phlebologist” without the Board Certification claim, has not been “officially” Board Certified in Phlebology. 


AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHLEBOLOGY (ACP) is a membership organization for vein care-related physicians and allied health care members. It offers related educational courses on topics in the vein care industry. Any “certifications” that are associated with the ACP do NOT represent a Board Certification in Phlebology (vein care).


Dr. Albert has been a member of the ACP for ten years and attends the annual National Conferences held in different locations across the United States. He has been an official Physician Presenter of medical information related to Phlebology at the ACP. Members of the AVI medical staff have also participated in sharing medical knowledge with ACP members. Dr. Albert is also a member of the International Union of Phlebology (UIP), and attends the World Conference on Phlebology, which meets every few years at international venues.


To learn more about vein care in Colorado from the Albert Vein Institute, contact our Colorado Springs location or our Denver location today at 1-888-550-8346.