25 Most Influential: Lowell Kabnick, MD, FACS

Lowell Kabnick, MD, FACS

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

I see our specialty gaining momentum in this country as it has in outside us. With the ACP and its members leading the charge this specialty now recognized by the AMA will be recognized by the public. Fellowships in phlebology will increase in this country. The phlebology board will continue to gain momentum and will be accepted by the ABMS.

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

DVT and treatment as well the development of an artificial valve for chronic deep venous insufficiency.

What advancements are long overdue?

Ridding the procedures of tumescent anesthesia and the approval of other sclerosants and the development of an artificial deep venous valve that can be placed percutaneously

How does the current state of health insurance affect you{r practice} and what are the pitfalls?

Health insurance affects my practice significantly. We are at the mercy of medical indications imposed by their policy makers, regardless of the soundness of the policy. Each insurance company has a different requirement depending on their client’s policy. The number of different policies per insurance company is vast. We have to hire additional help to navigate the insurance directives and the amount of paperwork per patient. It is almost impossible for patients to get themselves approved.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

The biggest challenge in my work is the fact that we have no cure for venous disease.

Is there a case that stands out in your mind?

A 2nd grade teacher, while wearing shorts for a field day, was given the name by her students of “spider lady.” She was mortified. She was afraid to wear shorts as well as seek out a specialist who could help her. Her mother could only relate the horror stories of yesteryears’ treatment. Finally one of her friends brought her to my office. Through a combination of treatments she is now able to wear shorts again.

Are you involved in leading or teaching educational symposiums at clinics, hospitals, universities, etc? Please share your experiences.

Yes, I am involved in ongoing teaching at many levels and locations. I am also the Co-chair of Venous Veith Symposium 2006-2008, Chair of AVF Symposium 2009, and Chair of the ACP Congress 2009.

You are well-known in your field of work. What is something about you that would surprise your colleagues?

That I have a life outside of work! I actively race sailboats and have an interest in sculpture.

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

I had and have vascular surgical mentors who pioneered my way. I have no regrets!!!

Who or what inspires you the most?

Patients inspire me the most to continue to strive for answers and help for their problems.

If you could do anything else for a living, what would it be? Why?

I have been practicing phlebology for 26 years and am happy and have no reservations. I can honestly say that everyday I enjoy coming to work and that I love what I do!