The European College of Phlebology supports Phlebology in Europe
Venous diseases are among the most frequent health problems in Europe and the prevalence is still rising in our aging populations. The last decade has shown many changes in the management of patients suffering venous disease. The treatment of superficial venous insufficiency has shifted from invasive treatments under general anesthesia to minimal invasive treatments with or without tumescent anesthesia. Foam sclerotherapy and thermal ablation are standard procedures in varicose vein treatment. Similarly, the management of chronic venous disease, due to deep venous insufficiency (DVI) and deep venous obstructive (DVO) disease has shown major changes. DVO disease has shown to be treatable with new minimal invasive techniques such as re-canalisation procedures with stenting of the pathological venous segments, especially in the iliofemoral tract. Compression bandaging and stockings remain the cornerstone for the treatment of numerous patients with venous disease. Most compression innovations focus on higher stiffness because of its higher effectiveness and comfort. Finally, the introduction of new anticoagulant drugs is changing the treatment options in venous disease and improve patients’ comfort and safety. These developments need cooperation between physicians, patients and industry. The fast-changing treatment options due to new inventions, materials and techniques make it also very demanding for funders of health care (health-insurances / governments) to decide which treatments are safe, cost effective and eligible for reimbursement.
In all the European countries there is great heterogenicity with respect to physicians training in phlebology but also in respect to the reimbursement of modern treatment options. In order to standardize phlebological training the International Union of Phlebology (UIP) developed a curriculum for Phlebology in 2010.
The European College of Phlebology (ECoP) has been established in 2012 as an organization that primarily stimulates optimal care for all patients in Europe suffering from a venous disease with a multidisciplinary approach. As a first step a European training curriculum was established. To establish an internationally accepted Certificate in Phlebology the recognition by the Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes (European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS)) was essential. ECoP initiated the foundation of a Multidisciplinary Joint Committee of Phlebology (MJCP) in the UEMS system with the support of different UEMS sections and succeeded in 2014. The new MJCP with its president J.J. Guex and delegates from the UEMS member societies installed the European Board of Phlebology (EBP) in 2017 which is now responsible for the education, training and certification of Phlebology in Europe. The EBP succeeded in acceptance of official training requirements for National Reference Training Centers in Phlebology (NRTCP), European Training Centers of Phlebology (ETCP), European Rotation Training Centers in Phlebology (ERTCP) and Trainers, improving the level of care significantly. The EBP educational program focusses on the practical training of skills needed to diagnose and treat the patients with venous diseases. This will be covered by the selected European Training Centers.
ECoP will focus on education in phlebology with high level theoretical and hands-on courses.
The first ECoP Course took place from 13-15 May 2022 in the Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam. This part of an annual educational program will provide the participants with an overview of the main venous topics in presentations, discussions and in 32 workshops.
The first ECoP e-Learning course finished in 2022 and the second is running form March 2022 till April 2023 in which all aspects of venous pathology and treatments are taught.
Cooperation of all European phlebology societies is key to reach a better recognition and venous care for our patients. ECoP represents 24 of the 30 national phlebology societies in Europe and will support them in developing guidelines, education and training programs.
In order to further support this vision, the ECoP is intending to foster European guidelines, covering best medical care for the venous patient in Europe.
The aim of ECoP is a good cooperation between all European societies and institutions involved in diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic venous diseases to maintain a multidisciplinary Phlebology in Europe.