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New vascular consulting suites open at Cabrini Malvern

Date: 21/09/2017

Cabrini’s approach to gathering specialities together into precincts to promote collegiality, collaboration and cross-fertilisation of ideas has resulted in a brand new vascular precinct at Cabrini Malvern, which is now open.

A number of top surgeons share the consulting rooms (suites 36 and 37) and well-equipped advanced treatment rooms developed on the first floor of Cabrini Malvern. The impressive roll-call of vascular consultants includes:

Mr Roger Bell 

Mr Michael Bruce 

Mr Matthew Claydon 

Mr Peter Chu 

Mr Geoff Cox 

Mr Raoul Mayer 

Mr Charles Milne 

Mr Peter Milne 

These surgeons and others share the precinct’s common spaces, allowing for the kind of regular contact that leads to discussion of individual cases or advances in the field. “While the new vascular precinct allows for more collaboration between individual vascular surgeons, the treatment rooms are a key addition to the consulting precinct where the latest minimally-invasive venous interventions can be offered in a rooms-based setting,” says vascular surgeon Mr Charles Milne.

Vascular surgery treats more than veins

The term vascular surgery implies that these surgeons treat veins only, however much of their work relates to arteries, the blood vessels that leave the heart and transport oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Arising as major vessels, the ascending and descending aorta, they branch and narrow through to the fine arterioles and into capillaries with walls barely a cell thick. Veins receive the deoxygenated blood from the other side of the capillary bed, returning it to the heart with the assistance of one-way valves. The combined network is vast – it is estimated that an adult’s blood vessels laid end to end measure around 100,000 kilometres.

Advances in treatment and care

Like so many disciplines, this field has undergone great change in recent decades. Once, almost all vascular interventions involved open surgery. These days much can be achieved through endovascular procedures where small punctures or incisions in the groin or arm allow a wire to be guided through the blood vessel to the area needing treatment. A blocked artery, for example can be treated by passing a wire through the blockage. The surgeon then tracks a balloon over the wire and inflates it across the blockage to create a flow channel. Sometimes a stent is used to maintain the channel.

Life-saving treatment

Vascular surgeons carry out the vital and delicate task of repairing aortic aneurisms. The most common kind is an abdominal aortic aneurysm – dangerous ballooning of the abdominal aorta’s wall, which leaves the enlarged aorta at risk of a life-threatening rupture. Previously, this required major open surgery, with extended time in hospital. Now, many of these aneurysms can be treated endovascularly – a great advantage when a patient is not fit for major surgery. The burden of surgery and length of hospital stay is reduced to just days.

Minor work can be carried out in the precinct’s treatment rooms, which are fitted with surgical lighting, ultrasound and treatment beds. Here, Cabrini’s vascular patients can undergo such treatments as sclerotherapy, when a solution is injected to close a varicose vein, and minimally-invasive thermal ablation of varicose veins, where heat is used for the same purpose. No general anaesthetic or operating suite is required for these procedures.

There are many choices open to today’s vascular surgeons in determining the best approach to treating their patients. “We now have a range of options,” says Mr Charles Milne. “The choice between open and endovascular surgery, or a combination of both, depends on the individual patient: their age, existing medical conditions, and the anatomy of the vascular problem must be considered before deciding on the best treatment option.”

Find a vascular surgeon

To contact a Cabrini vascular surgeon, call (03) 9508 1222 or visit the ‘find a doctor’ pages on the Cabrini website