Post-Op Information

Overview of Procedures

The treatment of varicose veins has changed greatly in the last decade. The emphasis on careful and often extensive varicose vein surgery, which characterised the early days of the speciality of vascular surgery, has largely been replaced with an emphasis on endovenous procedures. Sclerotherapy of surface veins was always part of venous treatment but has now been enlarged by the treatment of Ultrasound Guidance and foam sclerosants to allow small
(2-3 mm) and medium (4-6mm) varicose veins to be treated. More recently larger varicose veins can now be treated by Endovenous Laser Therapy (ELT). Many but not all cases of new varicose veins can be treated non-surgically. Most recurrent varicose veins can be treated non-surgically. These procedures are done as an outpatient and generally are associated with minimal pain and minimal time off work. Rebates from Health Insurance Funds and the Commonwealth Government are not generous but the overall costs are not extreme when compared with inpatient surgical treatment where “gaps”, “patient co-payments” have developed as a response to medical indemnity pressures and rising health costs in the face of relatively static Government reimbursement schedules.

Procedures for the arterial system are equally well developed and centre around an endovascular suite where x-ray machines allow the specialist to guide wires through arteries with the aim of avoiding an operation. Although these procedures can be classed as outpatient procedures, they often necessitate only a night or two in hospital. Some patients are still better treated by operative surgery and that is best judged by a proceduralist who is involved in both types of procedures i.e. a vascular surgeon with significant endovascular practice (sometimes called an Endovascular Surgeon).

From a strong basis in operative surgery, Southern Vascular has developed an extensive procedural repertoire. Operative surgery, however, remains effective and safe and is still used at this clinic. Patients can be assured they will receive a comprehensive surgical opinion including extensive medical documentation.