23rd Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum Scheduled for February 23-26, 2011, in San Diego

by Eilenn Masciale

The Annual Meeting brings together internationally recognized authorities on all aspects of venous disease, diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment. The meeting also has a major research focus, with scientists presenting their most recent work to improve understanding of venous disease.

“The AVF Annual Meeting is our signature event for vein disease specialists, where they can learn about state-of-the-art research from around the globe,” said Peter Pappas, MD, AVF President and clinical chair of Surgery, Brooklyn Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. “We continue to offer resources for those who are new to the field, but this is not ‘Venous Disease 101.’ We are really offering cutting edge research that can be brought back to the office to enhance patient care.”

More than 500 vascular and general surgeons, interven-tional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, phlebologists, plastic surgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other medical professionals who treat venous disease are expected to attend. The Annual Meeting is open to members of the AVF and other professionals who are not members at the time of registration.

The AVF is an international consortium of venous and lymphatic specialists dedicated to improving patient care. For example, in 2010, there were 23 countries represented including: Argentina, Brazil, canada, chile, cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, France, germany, guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

Its mission is to promote venous and lymphatic health through innovative research, education and technology.

The level of excellence at the Annual Meeting is maintained by a rig-orous peer review of the abstracts that are submitted. combined with the breadth of topics offered each year and the international experts and providers who participate, the meeting is a high quality experience for all those who attend.

“We hope that those who attend the Annual Meeting find it inspirational and return to their practice, look at their clinical experience, and be motivated to do research to further advance the field,” Said Dr. Pappas.

Annual Meeting Highlights

Over the course of four days, the AVF offers an array of programs. Multiple symposia and presentations are available on a range of clinical issues related to venous disease. In response to the feedback from previous meetings, the AVF is continuing to offer original research reports and Ask the Expert sessions and has re-tooled the poster sessions by condensing them and adding a rapid fire paper presentation session. In addition, there will be focused sessions on state-of-the-art venous varicosity treatment and a post thrombotic syndrome update.

One of the most anticipated presentations is Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture, which will be given by David c. Zawieja, PhD, Professor and Vice chairman, Systems Biology and Translational Medicine Director, Division of Lymphatic Biology, Texas A & M Health Science center. Dr. zawieja, who is an NIH-funded investigator, will address cutting edge research in lymphatic disease.

“The research that Dr. zawieja will present is truly the next frontier for the American Venous Forum,” said Dr. Pappas. “After hearing this lecture, I’m sure attendees will agree that we, as vein specialists, can become more active in lymphatic disease.”

Another meeting highlight is a dem-onstration that will be led by Nicos Labropoulos, MD, Professor of Surgery and Radiology and Director, Vascular Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Stony Brook University Medical center in New York. Dr. Labropoulos will demonstrate applied knowledge on how to evaluate and treat patients with venous disease using skills that are tailored to the problems of the patient.

According to Dr. Labropoulos, this will benefit attendees as they look at specific pathologies based on patient presentation and make them more efficient. This presentation, which is only offered once each year at the AVF meeting, is appropriate for the beginner and advanced practitioners.

The post-graduate course will be led by Seshadri Raju, MD, Staff Physician, River Oaks and St. Dominic/Jackson Memorial Hospitals, and Professor Emeritus of Surgery and Honorary Surgeon, University of Mississippi Medical center.

According to Dr. Raju, AVF founding member and the incoming president of the AVF, most vascular surgeons are at least superficially familiar with flow principles in arteries. However, these principles are often inappropriately extrapolated to the venous circulation. The objective of this course is to present venous flow principles as concept, without complex equations. The interactive talk will be delivered by world class authorities in the field and include a question and answer period.

Additionally, Dr. gregory Moneta, Professor and chief, Division of Vascular Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, will be leading a session of the “Best of Non-JVS” venous papers. It involves a panel of reviewers who give a short summary of each paper followed by an audience Q & A and discussion. The session, which elicits findings of other important venous research over the last year, has been very popular at the national vascular meetings over the last two years.

Also featured at the meeting are:

• Scientific sessions that provide an in-depth look at deep vein thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency, superficial vein disease, IVC and filters, lymphedema and compression and other critical aspects of venous disease.
• Symposium offered by the American College of Phlebology that covers endovenous thermal ablation, treatment of leg veins, duplex examination and anatomy guiding therapy

American Medical Association (AMA) Physician’s Recognition Award (PRA) category 1 credits™ will be provided for select program elements.

In addition, there will be industry updates and exhibits from a select group of companies that offer the latest products for diagnosis and treatment of venous disease.

“The AVF has really matured as a voice for venous disease in all aspects, and we are well situated to improve patient care with dissemination of information and programs as venous disease has gained a much higher level of recognition by the public,” said Peter Henke, MD, Associate Professor of Vascular Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, and Program Director for the Annual Meeting. “I hope clinicians and researchers in the field take advantage of this opportunity get the most up-to-date information, learn about breakthrough research, and find ways to better care for their patients.”

BSN-JOBST Research Fellowship Grant to be Presented at Annual Meeting

In addition to the various symposia, presentations and workshops that will be offered, the AVF will be presenting its 2011 BSN-JOBST Research Fellowship at the Annual Meeting. This year, for the first time, this prestigious grant has increased to $50,000 award, doubling the award given out previously.

“Since its inception in 1995, the BSN-JOBST award has directly resulted in advancing an entire generation of clinical scientists, dedicated to improving the care of patients with venous disease through innovative clinical and basic science research. In these difficult economic times, BSN’s augmented support helps to guarantee the vital ongoing development of emerging venous disease leaders and clinician scientists,” said Dr. Pappas, who was the first recipient of the BSN-JOBST grant.

AVF Updates at the Annual Meeting

The AVF offers a variety of education opportunities for healthcare providers throughout the year and will be providing updates at the Annual Meeting. These include:AVF-Sponsored Registry, which is a free resource, was created to assist doctors in their clinical practice while creating a resource for tracking treatment and outcomes of venous disease. The Registry includes multiple inter-linked modules on varicose vein treatment, venous stenting, vena cava filters, pharmacomechanical thrombolysis and upper extremity venous treatment. It is scheduled to be unveiled at the Annual Meeting, with opportunities for attendees to see demonstrations and become a registered user.

AVF National Venous Screening Program, which was established five years ago to increase public awareness of acute and chronic venous diseases through education, identification, and empowerment, and remains as the nation’s only dedicated organized non-profit venous screening effort. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) with its risk of Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is the most preventable cause of death among people hospitalized in the US. In 2009, the AVF created a focused DVT risk assessment screening program to heighten awareness among health care administrators, health care providers and the general public about DVT and PE by promoting and administering a DVT risk assessment in a variety of health care settings. There are screening sites throughout the US; providers can find out how they can become a screening site on-line or at the Annual Meeting.

Information will also be available about the AVF’s 2011 Fellows’ courses in Venous Disease and the AVF’s hands-on education course for practicing clinicians, Vein Forum.

Impact of 2010 Annual Meeting

After attending the 2010 Annual Meeting, vein disease specialists took home extensive information that they planned to introduce to their patient care. Among the changes they planned to make based on what they learned at the Annual Meeting were the following:

• Develop comprehensive venous center for complete care.
• Develop a coagulation clinic.
• Develop a multidisciplinary approach to thrombophilia and DVT risks.
• Change the approach to calf vein duplex exam.
• Change assessment of venous swelling.
• Institute deep venous mechanical thrombolysis.
• Look more closely at venous outflow obstruction.
• Use endovascular stenting for iliac vein stenoses.
• Spend more time on iliac clot disease management.In general, attendees felt that the AVF Annual Meeting gets better every year. Said one participant, “It is the best vein meeting around!”

San Diego: Perfect for a Winter Getaway

Located just 10 minutes from the San Diego International Airport, the brand new, upscale, 30-story Hilton San Diego Bay Front Hotel overlooks beautiful San Diego Bay, coronado Island and the Pacific Ocean just beyond. It is adjacent to the vibrant city waterfront and the coronado Bridge, across the street from the downtown’s gas Lamp Quarter and is conveniently located near dozens of sightseeing and recreational opportunities. Nearby are miles of public beaches, great golf, Balboa Park, Sea World, Birch Aquarium, Lego Land, San Diego Wild Animal Park and Tijuana, Mexico. San Diego also boasts a great public transit system, including buses, trolleys and trains to get around the city.

The AVF is planning a special Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the world-famous San Diego zoo and an afternoon Sailing cruise on the harbor. A golf tournament is also planned in historic Balboa Park.

With its great weather, miles of sandy beaches and major attractions, San Diego is known worldwide as one the best tourist destinations in the U.S. Plan to bring the family and join us in sunny Southern california.

For More InformationAdditional information about the American Venous Forum and the 23rd Annual Meeting – including exhibitor and sponsorship information – is available online at www.veinforum.org

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