Vascular Surgery – Farrer Park Hospital
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What is Vascular Surgery?
​Vascular surgery is the medical specialty that deals with treating the blood vessels of the body, with the exception of the vascular systems of the heart and within the brain. It may involve restoring blood flow to an area of the body after trauma or disease damages blood vessels there.
Conditions
​Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
If you develop  PAD, your extremities - usually the legs - do not receive enough blood. This may cause leg pain (claudication) when walking, gangrene, ulcers and in worst cases, amputation. Early diagnosis could allow simple, non-surgical treatment such as lifestyle changes and exercise sessions as well as medications. People at risk include diabetics, smokers , those with high blood pressure,  high cholesterol and those with a family history of PAD.
 
Among the more serious vascular problems are aortic aneurysms. This refers to the enlarging of the aorta which is a major blood vessel that runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. Because it is the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body, a ruptured aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding. Fortunately this can be prevented by less invasive endovascular treatment to  place a stent-graft in the aorta though small incisions in the groin or by open surgery to replace the affected segment of the aorta.
 
Carotid artery disease is also called carotid artery stenosis. The term refers to the narrowing of the carotid arteries. This narrowing is usually caused by the buildup of fatty substances and cholesterol deposits, called plaque. Carotid artery occlusion refers to complete blockage of the artery. When the carotid arteries are obstructed, you are at an increased risk for a stroke.
 
Varicose Veins
Varicose veins usually occurs in the lower limbs in men and women equally. Treatment  may be required to prevent the development of skin changes or ulcers in the legs and to alleviate symptoms caused by varicose veins. Non invasive assessment is done by venous ultrasound.
Treatments

Treatment options for peripheral arterial disease include minimally invasive angioplasty and stenting to improve blood flow to the legs. This procedure involves inserting a small tube into an artery in the groin, ‘balloons’ or stents are then inserted into the blocked  artery to widen the narrowed segments and improve blood flow. Other options include bypass surgery where the patient’s own vein or an artificial graft is used to bypass the blockage. Sometimes a “hybrid” procedure, combining surgical bypass with an angioplasty procedure, is used in more complex cases.

Treatments for varicose veins such  as Endovenous Radiofrequency ablation (Venefit), Venaseal , Endovenous laser therapy are commonly performed as day surgery procedures under local anaesthesia with minimal downtime. 

Vascular Medicine
Vascular disease can often be treated by non-surgical physical therapies, for example structured exercise programs for patients with intermittent claudication,  compression bandaging for chronic venous insufficiency and risk factor modification for PAD. Routine monitoring is done by non invasive vascular ultrasound.

 

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