Featured Member of the Month (Dec. 2020): Hratch Karamanoukian

Dr. Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, DABVLM is a General Surgery Specialist in Buffalo, NY, and has more than 30 years of experience in the medical field. Dr. Karamanoukian received his undergraduate degree from UCLA, Biochemistry. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He has produced 145 peer-reviewed publications in fetal surgery, surfactant biology, transonic flowmetry in vascular surgery and cardiac surgery, robotic heart surgery, beating heart surgery, among others. He has also written half a dozen published books (Thoracic Surgery Secrets, Cardiac Surgery Secrets, Beating Heart Coronary Artery Surgery, Intraoperative Graft Patency Verification in Cardiac and Vascular Surgery, Thoracic Surgery Board Review, and ABSITE Combat Manual.

How and why did you start practicing in the field of vein care?

My interest in venous disease was sparked by one of my mentors, Dr. Syde Taheri, a renowned vein valve transplant and repair surgeon. While I was doing NIH sponsored research for the use of inhaled nitric oxide between 1992 and 1995, I assisted him in vein valve repair and autotransplantation in pigs and later in the operating room. I went on 2 medical missions abroad with Dr. Taheri to help patients with chronic venous ulcers.

When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?

I am an amateur painter and a GT car driver. My dog Harley and I put on 30,000 miles between April and November every year.

How long have you been a member of the AVLS and why did you decide to join?

I became a member four years after becoming a full-time vein specialist in 2006.

In what ways has the AVLS helped you as a practicing physician?

The AVLS provides a community of specialists who have a shared interest in the clinical advancement of superficial and deep venous disease. I also love the fact that it is a multidisciplinary society that has brought the best minds from every specialty to the field of venous disease. Phlebology is no longer an orphan specialty of vascular surgery or general surgery.

Any advice for physicians new to the field?

I would take time and go and learn from those that are treating deep venous disease. I do not want the specialty to splinter between those that treat superficial disease and those that do not.

What resources does the AVLS provide that would benefit them?

The Annual Congress is amazing. The online platform is the best thing that happened to the dissemination of information and continued medical education. AVLS provides handbooks for patients and informational and educational resources for continued learning.