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Many people, especially in the US, would understand the term angiology better if they knew it’s another way of saying vascular medicine. This is a small and select specialty in the medical community that is principally concerned with the treatment of disorders that affect the lymph system or the veins and arteries. It’s often lumped in with cardiology, since cardiology deals with the circulatory system, but not every angiologist has trained as a cardiologist first. Clearly though, understanding of the circulatory system’s affects on veins and arteries is very important.
It might be fairly easy to understand some of the conditions in which angiology would be greatly interested. Atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries would definitely be of concern to the angiologist. Things like stroke and any blood clot formation in the veins or arteries are important too. Deep vein thrombosis is another condition that might be treated by an angiology specialist.
Particularly when conditions in veins/arteries create increase risk for things like stroke or other forms of emboli, the idea of fixing these matters first is one of great value. It’s been suggested that perhaps one of the loftier goals of angiology is to prevent the devastation to the body that may occur if blood clots reach the heart, lungs or brain. Given the very real possibility of increased stroke risk with extra blood clotting or narrowed blood vessels, the need to work preventatively can’t be underestimated.
Despite this defined need, there are not that many specialists in angiology, and many people with conditions that involve vein or artery compromise are treated by cardiologists who might refer patients to vascular surgeons. Still, there aren’t that many training programs that exist, though there is now credentialing in this area, in places like the US, through the American Board of Vascular Medicine. Those in this field have advocated for more, hoping that additional training programs will rise up and create more skilled physicians that can help work not only to treat illnesses occurring, but also to aid patients in preventing devastating conditions.
The relatively low availability of training in angiology does mean it can be hard to find these specialists. Many work in major hospitals and patients might only find them if they live near those hospitals or if another doctor refers them. This specialty, particularly in the hospital setting, is likely to have a close relationship with vascular and cardiothoracic surgeons, and with cardiologists.
The focus in angiology on prevention, in addition to diagnostics and treatment, is often claimed as a slightly different approach from those in related specialties. Observably, cardiologists and others want prevention too. Yet, they may not take the same holistic/ whole patient approach that is characteristic of many angiologists.
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