By Larry Storer

The International Vein Congress will host its 17th annual meeting from April 25- 27th in Miami Beach, Florida. The IVC hosts the conference in collaboration with the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum.

Jose I. Almeida, MD, FACS, RPVI, RVT, who founded the conference and has directed it through since its inception, will return, along with course co-directors, Edward G. Mackay, MD, FACS, RPVI, RVT; and Lowell S. Kabnick, MD, RPhS, FACS, FACPh.

“The vein care field is evolving – mostly for the better – but we have some issues that need cleaning up,” Dr. Almeida said. “Each year, it is our goal to bring the most relevant topics to attendees so they walk away with the tools to take better care of their patients and improve their practice immediately.”

IVC 2019 will offer a three-day powerhouse program brimming with clinical updates, controversy, innovation and consensus. The conference agenda focuses on a variety of deep and superficial venous disease management topics while also covering the practical, business and governance aspects of healthcare from insurance coverage to practice management.

IVC 2019 provides physicians the opportunity to earn up to 21 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. The conference will also provide continuing education credits for nurses, physician assistants and ultrasound techs. IVC 2019 also qualifies for Part 2 of the American Board of Surgery MOC program.

The course content will be of immense value to vascular surgeons, general surgeons, interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists, cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, phlebologists and other physicians, nurses and technologists. Both veterans and beginners alike will come away from the meeting with tips to apply to their practices right away.

Again this year, the Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders (JVSVL) will be accepting abstracts presented at IVC for publication through March 1. The six abstracts chosen for formal oral presentation will be critiqued live by IVC faculty who are members of the JVSVL editorial board. JVSVL is the official journal of the SVS and the AVF. Poster abstract submissions will also be accepted for display. Submission guidelines are available on .

The IVC stage is not only home to consensus, but also dynamic debates on pressing issues in vein care. Some of the questions up for debate at IVC 2019 include: Can clinicians use physician compounded foam or are they restricted to FDA-approved commercialized foam? Also, the pros and cons of the ATTRACT Trial will be discussed by two experts. Personalities will clash as presenters try to sway the audience to their position.

In addition to lectures, live cases will be broadcast from the Miami Vein Center’s AngioSuite and O.R. to the conference’s educational ballroom. As the physicians in the operating room show how a technique is done, the panel in IVC’s educational ballroom will explain to the audience why it’s done.

This year’s agenda features more than five hours of exciting live cases involving: deep and superficial venous ultrasound mapping, thermal ablation with radiofrequency and laser, non-thermal ablation with Varithena and ClariVein, venography and IVUS-guided balloon angioplasty – iliocaval stent and phlebectomy. Kathleen T. Gibson, MD, will present a pre-recorded case of the VenaSeal procedure.

“Live cases give attendees the opportunity to see the procedures in real time,” Dr. Mackay, course co-director, said. “Watching experienced surgeons work through procedures is invaluable, especially at IVC, where attendees can step up and ask questions of the surgeon at any point during the procedure.”

IVC 2019’s keynote address, titled “The Problem with Endovenous Overblation and Insufficiently Trained Operators,” will be given by Marc Passman, MD, a vascular surgeon and past-president of the AVF. IVC will also offer a multitude of other venous governance-related sessions to keep health policy in the minds of attendees throughout the conference.

On Saturday, attendees can look forward to the crowd-favorite, ask-the-experts session, the V2 Symposium. This 90-minute session led by Steve Elias, MD, vascular surgeon from Englewood, NJ, will give IVC attendees the chance to ask conference faculty challenging questions regarding emerging techniques, new technology, reimbursement, professionalism and more.

Anything is fair game, and faculty welcome challenging questions. This year’s panel includes course director, Dr. Almeida; course co-directors Drs. Mackay and Kabnick; Dr. Gobson; Mark Meissner, MD; FACS; Timothy K Liem, MD, MBA, FACS; Neil M. Khilnani, MD; and Paul McNeill, MD.

“We do our best to cover all aspects of vein care and the business of vein care in the conference agenda,” Dr. Kabnick said. “The V2 Symposium gives attendees the chance to seek clarification IVC content as well as answers to issues that might be unique to them and their practice.”

Other IVC 2019 session highlights include:

            Venous Diagnostics, moderated by course co-director Dr. Kabnick, will explore image optimization with venous duplex, cross sectional imaging workup for deep venous obstruction, iliac vein measurement using IVUS planimetry, and the proper technique for contrast venography.

            Truncal Ablation, moderated by course co-director Dr. Mackay, will cover the different devices for radiofrequency ablation, wavelength and fiber consideration when performing GSV laser ablation, a review of RCTs  of endothermal ablation, current data on polidocanol endovenous microfoam and mechanicochemical ablation, venous wound care, Diosmin and cyanoacrylate ablation.

            Venous Quagmires, moderated by Dr. Liem, vascular surgeon at Oregon Health and Science University, will tackle the diagnosis and treatment of venous and non-venous sources of leg pain, different causes of leg swelling and the scope-of-practice issues that concern all physicians.

            Tributaries and Spider Veins will be moderated by Kandy Hammon, RN, BSN, MBA/HCM. Topics include neurological complications of sclerotherapy, the effectiveness of lasers for spider veins, technical steps for phlebectomy and sclerotherapy, vulvar varicosities with pregnant patients, and the SeCure trial for laser ablation of perforators.

            Femoro-iliocaval Interventions, moderated by Dr. Elias, will guide attendees through an update on the avoiding misuse and overuse of iliac vein stenting, looks at the endovascular tips and tricks for crossing iliocaval occlusions, the challenges of fractured venous stents, the role of open common femoral venectomy, and all available data for endovascular deep vein valves on the horizon.

            Thromboembolic Issues, moderated by Dr. Liem, will examine massive and submassive pulmonary embolism management, technical tips for retrieving inferior vena cava filters, vacuum-assisted venous thrombectomy, novel oral anticoagulants and direct-acting oral anticoagulants, and ACCESS trial data for chronic DVT.

            Venous Practice Management/Insurance Issues will be moderated by course director Dr. Almeida, MD. Topics will include venous reimbursement, tactful marketing strategies, role of the office manager and doctor, the process of submitting proper documentation for insurance pre-authorization and the dilemma of non-plastic surgeons offering aesthetic procedures.

Between sessions, attendees and faculty can browse the exhibit hall, which will feature companies in the vascular care field. Industry exhibitors will showcase their products and services, which include everything from medical devices to website and brand management for physicians.

Though IVC 2019 will pack a wealth of information into three days, venous education is a year-round need. In response to this, IVC created Vein Global, an educational website providing clinical case videos, panel discussions and other valuable content. The goal of Vein Global is to be an educational resource for vascular experts outside of the concentrated three-day agenda of IVC. Everyone who attends IVC receives one year of free access to

Additionally, vascular experts with interesting imaging, superficial and deep vein videos may also contribute to Vein Global. If accepted, contributors will see their work published on For more information on Vein Global and contributing to the website, visit

Save on meeting registration by signing up early at

For any other inquiries, please contact the conference’s general manager, Alison Marinelli, Cine-Med, Inc.,, (203)263-0006 ext.108. VTN


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Larry Storer

Larry Storer

Larry Storer has been editor of Vein Therapy News for 10 years. He has edited computer, shelter and medical publications at Publications & Communications LP for 30 years. He was also a corporate vice president and editorial director before retiring. Larry graduated from Baylor University with a BA in journalism and an MA in communications; and from Lamar University with a MED in school administration. He taught beginning and advanced reporting, beginning and advanced editing and editorial writing at Baylor University. Larry was a reporter, and city and news editor of the Beaumont Journal, and opinion editor at the Beaumont Enterprise and Beaumont Enterprise-Journal. He was also the founding managing editor of the Yuba City (California) Daily Independent-Herald.