25 Most Influential: Hugo Partsch, Univ. Prof., MD

Hugo Partsch, Univ. Prof., MD

A colleague had this to say: “Professor Partsch has successfully established an international organization of medical professionals in phlebology and industry with the objective of proving consensus guidance on the various aspects of compression therapy in phlebology and lymphology.”

Where do you see the specialty of phlebology in 5 years? 10 years?

Specialization will be introduced in different countries supported by an international basic curriculum, increasing knowledge and experience by better communication and education.

A decade ago, few would have foreseen the crossover in types of vein treatments being offered at other specialty practices. Where do you think the next big movement is going to be and how will it affect vein practice?

Besides "varicology" there is a need for a more profound expertise in outpatient care of chronic edema in elderly and disabled patients, deep vein thrombosis, lymphedema, leg ulcers.

In your opinion, which area of research is yielding the most advancement in the field?

Pathophysiology, non-invasive diagnosis, new ways of sclerotherapy, compression, rational ulcer therapy.

What technological advances are contributing to the quality of vein treatment that most excite you?

Foam sclerotherapy, ambulant therapy of venous thromboembolism, compression.

What advancements are long overdue?

More effective ways to close veins.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

To understand and improve compression therapy.

Describe an unlikely success story.

It sounds unlikely but not one of several phlebologists and vascular surgeons consulted by the patient tried to feel the femoral pulse in the groin or to measure ABPI which was 0.7. After MRI angiography the patient received a stent that opened the occluded iliac artery. ABPI is 1,1 now, the femoral pulse is palpable and the ulcer on the calf is healing under good inelastic compression. The patient stopped smoking and started with jogging again. What we can learn: Phlebologists should not forget that also other vessels may be important besides veins.

What made you decide to work in phlebology and what do you wish you had known before you did?

The huge amount of patients with leg ulcers, all kind of skin defects on the lower extremity and of unclear swollen legs contrasting to a common disregard and ignorance. I do not regret my choice.

If you could share one bit of advice with a rookie, what would it be?

Listen and look to your patient and touch him before concentrating on reports or instrumental investigations

Who or what inspires you the most?

I am learning something new every day.