A phlebologist is a medical specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of venous origin. The specialty of phlebology has developed to enable physicians sharing an interest in venous disease and health to share knowledge and experience despite being trained in a variety of backgrounds such as dermatology, vascular surgery, haematology, interventional radiology or general medicine. Diagnostic techniques used include the patient's history and physical examination, venous imaging techniques in particular vascular ultrasound and laboratory evaluation related to venous thromboembolism. The American Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association has added phlebology to their list of self-designated practice specialties.
Scope of practice
A significant part of a phlebologist's work is involved with the treatment of superficial venous disease, frequently of the leg. Conditions often treated include venous stasis ulcers, varicose veins and spider veins (telangiectasia). Other conditions managed by phlebologists include deep venous thrombosis (DVT), superficial thrombophlebitis, and venous malformations.
Regulatory requirements for phlebology certification are different in Europe and the US.
In the US, licensed physicians with documented experience in treating veins and adequate vascular ultrasound experience can receive certification by passing a test created by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine a privately owned corporation committed to maintaining a high standard of care for venous disease. The test addresses knowledge of venous disease, clotting disorders, imaging modalities, pharmacokinetics, vascular malformations, lymphatics disorders and venous embryology. The American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine results in certification as a "Diplomate of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine" which is based on standards set by the American Board of Medical Specialities. Providers with this designation have completed rigorous criteria to sit for the exam and comprehension of vein care principles to pass the exam according to the Board.
In Australasia, the Australian College of Phlebologists requires that applicants be residents in Australia or New Zealand; have current registration as a medical practitioner in Australia or New Zealand; have a recognised post-graduate qualification (e.g., FRACGP) or more than 3 years post-graduate experience in clinical medicine; have a Medicare provider number to apply for advanced training; and are a person who has satisfied the prerequisites is eligible to apply for admission to the College Training Program. There is Basic Training (minimum of 10 days' supervised training, the Written Exam and the Clinical Exam), completion of which leads to the award of the title "Certified Sclerotherapist"; Advanced Training (20 days' supervised training, the Written Exam and the Clinical Exam); and Fellowship Training, completion of which leads to Fellowship of the Australasian College of Phlebology and entitlement to use the title "Phlebologist".
- "The Australasian College of Phlebology". Australasian College of Phlebology. Retrieved 12 January 2022.