The Future of Vein & Lymphatic Care has Arrived!

As a wide-eyed intern at Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills (circa 1990), I trained directly with Drs. Jeremy Swan and Willy Ganz of the famous Swan-Ganz catheter. One afternoon during rounds, these mentors of mine told me to be keenly aware of future clinical innovations that interest me and have enough “meat on the bone” to maintain my academic interest for many years to come. They had enjoyed many years of exploring cardiac hemodynamics and really making an impact in their chosen field.

As a practicing cardiovascular specialist, I never forgot that advice, and when I saw the instantaneous improvement that an early superficial venous mechanical ablation had on one of my patients with a chronic leg ulcer, I knew I had my “Swan-Ganz” moment. I dedicated much of the next 15 years to understanding, researching, and ultimately practicing venous and lymphatic medicine as an adjunct to overall cardiovascular health.

Drs. Mark Melin, Marlin Schul, and Manu Aggarwal have independently articulated how important our multidisciplinary approach to wound care must be. In their discussions in this edition, they all underscore how we can help in treating so many patients that have been under-appreciated, under-treated, and ultimately under-served for so many years. It really does feel like the beginning of something new and exciting as the “drumbeat” of curing the venous leg ulcer (our cover story last issue) is thankfully getting so much attention.

Indeed, my own personal passion for earlier and more complete detection of disease has afforded me the ability to be involved in novel imaging methods. Point of Care Infrared Thermography (POCIT) continues to show promise in its ability to show more chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), probably more completely than ever before. As we can’t fix what we cannot see, POCIT seems to illuminate CVI in ways that make it imminently more clear to both clinicians and patients alike. In her article Sarah Melvin describes how we are ushering in an era whereby proper mapping of CVI should be done with both thermography and adjunctive duplex ultrasound to yield the most complete clinical picture. We certainly can’t heal what we can’t properly see.

Now that the American Venous & Lymphatic Society (AVLS) has joined efforts with Vein Magazine, a new era of inclusive cooperation has begun. Venous and lymphatic diseases have been historically underrepresented in many healthcare settings, but now with joint efforts such as these, we hope to see a significant improvement in clinical awareness. So many important innovations and future ideas come when the right chemistry exists between visionary collaborators. Similarly, Vein Magazine and the AVLS seem destined to combine efforts to raise the bar even higher when it comes to improving the cooperation necessary to collectively add to our fund of knowledge. This will ensure the growth and success for the future of venous and lymphatic understanding and treatment for all.

We always hope for you to “lean back” and enjoy the Vein Magazine/myAVLS publication. If you feel inspired, please feel free to reach out to us to submit your literary contribution for consideration for the next issue as this is your magazine. If you or your colleagues would like to hear more about a specific topic or like to contribute please contact us to discuss.

Thanks and happy reading,

Ariel D. Soffer, MD, FACC

Senior Medical Editor, Vein Magazine