Northern Hospital Epping hosted their Second Annual Venous Workshop, welcoming UK Vascular Surgeon, Dr Stephen Black, who came to supervise for the first time in Australia, a complex endovascular recanalisation procedure.
The workshop included procedures on two patients, with the first patient from Victoria and the second from Queensland, who came with his surgeon Dr Daniel Hagley to Northern Health specifically for this procedure.
Dr Iman Bayat, Head of our Vascular Surgery Unit, explained that these conditions arise when, despite taking blood thinning medication, veins never fully open and remain partially and in segments, fully blocked. The patients suffered from a bursting sensation in their legs, especially when walking, as the partially blocked veins were not able to cope with the blood reaching the leg, therefore expanding and causing pain.
In the past, many patients like this were told that not much can be done.
“Today, we are opening these veins by using a fine wire to cross the blocked segments, then balloon the occlusions and finally keep these open using stents,” he said.
The first procedure was performed on a 40-year-old Victorian patient, a previously healthy stone mason, who after deep vein thrombosis developed pain in the leg and had his walking limited to only 50 metres.
“Today, we were able to successfully recanalise and open a completely blocked inferior vena cava and blocked right common iliac vein and very narrow and diseased left common external iliac and common femoral vein,” Dr Bayat said.
“We were able to come from both sides and the neck, working all together – Dr Daniel Hagley, Dr David Goh and myself, with the supervision of Dr Stephen Black. We were able to open this vascularly through three small punctures in the thighs and neck,” he added.
The dedicated team performed this complex procedure in only three hours, compared to the expected 4.5 hours.
Our guest, Dr Stephen Black, came to Northern Health to help with treating complex cases, and to try and put together an opportunity for their treatment.
“Dr Bayat has done a great job today and we are all hoping the patient will have a great result. Even though I am here just for a day, I can see the hospital is growing and everybody is putting in a lot of effort in building it up. Hopefully that success comes along with better outcomes for the patients in this area,” he said.
The Workshop is part of Northern Hospital’s vision of being a centre of excellence for complex venous disorders, and offering a complete spectrum of venous care.
The centre, unique in Victoria, offers a multidisciplinary approach to venous disease – closely collaborating with vascular surgery, haematology, radiology and wound care specialists. It offers both open and endovenous treatment for varicose veins and a weekly joint vascular and chronic wound clinic looking at venous ulcers. It also offers novel technology such as intravascular ultrasound.
The vascular surgery team believe this multifaceted and wide-reaching approach to venous disease will significantly improve health outcomes, whilst sharing their experience with other Victorian hospitals and learning from renowned world experts.