Ancillary services at Geelong Vascular Service

Geelong Vascular Ultrasound

A vascular ultrasound is performed to detect the presence, location, and severity of arterial and venous diseases. It is a simple, cost-effective and painless procedure performed using Doppler ultrasound. No surgery, X-rays, or needles are used. It causes minimal risk and discomfort to the patient compared to invasive techniques. It uses sound waves to detect blood flow through the blood vessels and reveal any blockages. Regular ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs within the body. Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to evaluate blood flow through a blood vessel.

The common abnormalities of the major blood vessels include narrowing or obstruction to blood flow, blood flowing in the wrong direction and finally, blood vessels that stretch beyond their normal size. The intensity of injury may vary in nature and severity depending on the type of vessel involved and whether they are connected to major muscle groups within the arm or leg, major organs within the abdomen, or the brain.

The common indications of vascular ultrasound include:

  1. To provide the initial diagnosis and determine the severity and extent of the disease
  2. To enable review or assessment of ongoing problems to determine if the disease is stable or deteriorating
  3. To assist directly and indirectly in treatment
  4. To enable review or assessment of the treatment outcomes

High-resolution ultrasound imaging is invaluable when investigating vascular disease, although it is inadequate if used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool. Ultrasound cannot provide a complete picture of vascular pathophysiology therefore, functional studies are essential. Vascular ultrasound can help diagnose the following conditions:

  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD): PAD refers to the narrowing of the blood vessels that obstruct blood flow to the arms or legs, usually due to atherosclerosis (fatty plaques in walls of blood vessels) or other diseases.
  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT): DVT refers to the condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein with the potential for the clot to move through the bloodstream to the lungs, causing a serious life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism or PE.
  • Aortic aneurysms: This refers to abnormal bulging of the Aorta, a major artery of the body, that can lead to a fatal rupture if untreated.
  • Other conditions such as cerebrovascular disease, chronic venous disease, renal artery disease, and mesenteric arterial disease can also be diagnosed by duplex ultrasound technique.
  • Vascular ultrasound is also used for venous mapping for coronary bypass procedures.

Geelong Laser Vein Clinic

Geelong Laser Vein Clinic is an arm of Geelong Vascular Service, and is a specialist surgical centre dedicated to the care of patients with varicose veins, spider veins, and their complications – venous thrombosis and leg ulcers.

Leg vein problems can present in many ways and are one of the most common surgical conditions. Should you have unsightly skin veins, painful, itchy or swollen legs, leg ulcers that have been difficult to heal, or clotted veins, management is essential to maintain the health of your legs.

Fortunately, the “old” approach of vein surgery in hospital (stripping) is no longer required. It is replaced in modern practices by endovenous laser therapy. Ambulatory (“walk-in, walk-out”) vein treatments, under local anaesthetic, with laser therapy and sclerosant injections, are recommended as first-line therapy now for most leg vein problems, offering minimal pain, little bruising and early return to normal activity.

At the state-of-the-art facility of Geelong Laser Vein Clinic, all your leg vein issues can be addressed. Contact us to schedule an appointment for treatment of your vein disease. Your legs deserve it!

Dress to Compress

Dress to Compress is a business that provides correct fitting and supply of graduated compression stockings. It serves patients in need of compression to manage DVT prophylaxis, limb oedema after DVT, post varicose vein treatment support, lower limb ulceration in the setting of venous insufficiency, and lymphoedema. In this capacity, it has a client base that owes its growth to a variety of referral sources, ranging from the patient who is travelling overseas and needs travel stockings, the physician managing DVT, and the vascular surgeon treating lower limb vascular disease.

Dress to Compress works closely with Geelong Vascular Service, the largest and longest-standing dedicated Vascular Surgery practice in Victoria’s Western region. The practice serves a population of over 500,000. They are the sole provider for the Practice’s compression stocking needs.

Dress to Compress sources a number of stocking products, importing from Europe and the USA and stocks a wide range of garments to meet client demand.

They also run educational seminars for general practitioners and community nurses on the correct fitting of graduated compression stockings and are committed to improving community education on the value of proper compression in managing limb oedema.

Inspiration for Perspiration

Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) is a medical condition that affects about 1 in every 100 individuals. It can occur in individuals of all age groups. It is usually secondary to an underlying medical condition such as a thyroid problem, menopause, pregnancy, acute infection or as a side effect of some medications and is termed as secondary hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis is characterised by excessive sweating only in specific areas of the body. Thus, the treatment is based on managing the underlying cause of excessive sweating.

In a few cases, excessive sweating can occur even in the absence of any identifiable underlying cause. Such hyperhidrosis is termed as primary hyperhidrosis. It is caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system and is more common in individuals with a family history of hyperhidrosis. It is characterised by excessive sweating in certain body areas such as armpits, palms, soles and scalp. Sweating is more common during the day than at night and is usually observed on both sides of the body.

The treatment for primary hyperhidrosis includes topical therapies such as topical corticosteroids, strong aluminium salts and topical glutaraldehyde or formaldehyde. Iontophoresis and intradermal injections of Botulinum type A Toxin (Botox) may also be beneficial. Sometimes, medications may also be prescribed to provide some relief. All these treatments provide only temporary relief and require subsequent repetition.

Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed under general anaesthesia through a very small incision under the armpit that provides a permanent cure for primary hyperhidrosis. It involves ablation of the sympathetic nerves in the thoracic ganglia that control the secretions from the sweat glands on the hands and face. Both sides can be treated at the same time. The patient is discharged on the same day of the surgery. It has a high success rate and is relatively safe.

Inspiration for Perspiration is an ancillary service of  Geelong Vascular Centre. It is exclusively devoted to the treatment of excessive sweating and flushing. At our state-of-the-art facility, we provide a comprehensive assessment of your condition. Based on this diagnosis, we devise an individualised treatment plan specific to the patient’s needs. We specialise in single incision Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) that provides a permanent cure for primary hyperhidrosis.

Geelong Vascular Research Foundation

Advancing the frontier of vascular therapy

The Geelong Vascular Research Foundation has been established with the express purpose of improving the quality of Vascular Surgical care. This is to be achieved through programs that are designed to create awareness in the community of vascular disease, its treatment and prevention, and through activities that serve to educate health professionals in delivering current best practices.

Current research projects include:

  • Laser treatment of varicose veins in an ambulatory setting – how we do it. Abstract submission Vascular 2012, Melbourne, Australia. Ms Alex WEBSTER, Prof David McClure.
  • Venous thrombosis induced by thermal ablative therapy: can its embolic potential be ignored? Abstract submission Vascular 2012, Melbourne, Australia. Prof David MCCLURE
  • Has Carotid Artery Stenting found its place? A 10-year Regional Centre perspective. Abstract submission Vascular 2012, Melbourne, Australia. Prof David MCCLURE, Dr Shrikkanth Rangarajan, Mr Nathan Biggs.