Phlebology is an evolving medical sub-specialty that specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of vein abnormalities and other venous disorders. A phlebologist is a medically qualified doctor who has undergone further post-graduate training to expertly diagnose, treat and where possible, prevent venous disease.
Phlebologists must first become qualified doctors by undergoing six or more years of study to gain their medical degrees. This is followed by several years of training in a teaching hospital as a junior hospital doctor followed by further specialised training to gain expertise in this field. Phlebologists may also have specialist training in other related fields such as Vascular Surgery, Vascular Medicine or Dermatology.
Phlebology has undergone extensive development in Australia and New Zealand over the past 20 years. However, it has been an established medical specialty in Europe for more than fifty years. In America, Phlebology was recently recognised as a separate medical specialty.
Phlebologists have special expertise in using vascular ultrasound, which assists in the accurate diagnosis and modern management of venous disease. Most procedures performed by phlebologists require ultrasound and phlebologists therefore work closely with vascular sonographers.
Advances in ultrasonic imaging technology along with the introduction of foam sclerotherapy have significantly improved the treatment of varicose veins. Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy (UGS) was developed in 1989, with “foam” being used in this procedure since the year 2000. UGS provides a non-invasive and effective alternative to surgery in the management of many varicose veins.
The Australasian College of Phlebology (ACP) is the training and credentialing body for Phlebologists in Australia and New Zealand. The ACP holds an annual Scientific Meeting, which has rapidly become acknowledged as one of the best phlebology scientific meetings in the world. The meeting attracts overseas speakers who present their latest findings in this field. Being a Fellow of the ACP is highly regarded and respected both in Australia and on the International level.
Fellows of the Australasian College of Phlebology must maintain their professional standards through participation in a continuing professional development program that is regulated by the Australasian College of Phlebology.