You are in experienced hands
Claire trained in traditional open surgery and stripping techniques and knew there had to be a better way. In 2009 Claire travelled around the world and Australia to source the best minimally invasive techniques that provide the highest success, lowest risk and most durable outcomes. Claire then further refined these techniques to create The Vein Centre protocols. We now have one of the largest experiences in minimally invasive techniques in Australia.
Claire has twice been asked to debate “Varicose vein stripping is obsolete”, once at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons National Annual Conference, ASC 2016, against the President of the ANZSVS and in 2018, at an International Meeting, UIP, with the past president of the American Vascular Society. Both times, a convincing win that, yes, varicose vein stripping is obsolete!
Claire also trains other doctors and has performed live patient demonstrations at Westmead Hospital in front of an audience of nearly 200 health care staff in 2014, and taught Vascular trainees at their Skills Course in Brisbane.
You are in safe hands
To optimise the safety of Sclerotherapy, Claire designed the Gian Luigi Occlusion technique (named after one of our patients) in 2012. She was concerned about the safety of injecting a substance into a vein without controlling where that substance travels. If an injected substance migrates, it can go into the deep system and cause a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot), travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, or, if you have a hole in the heart, travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
The GLO technique involves careful identification of varicose veins with Ultrasound, and marking of a road map with texta prior to injecting sclerosant. Nursing staff are hands on during the procedure and, together with the doctor, provide digital occlusion of important drainage points to the deep system. This means we do not see the common side effects reported in the literature such as coughing, chest tightness and visual disturbance. This also means we have a record low incidence of deep vein thrombosis of only 0.3% and, in fact, have never had a major deep vein thrombosis ie never had a thrombosis above calf level.
We use the gentlest laser device available. This is a feature of the laser wavelength (1470nm) and the way the beam transmits from the fibre. We use a single use radial fibre, NOT a multi-use (multi patient) end emitting or bare tip fibre. The radial fibre has the benefit of 9 times lower fluence (energy emitted per unit area) compared to the bare tip fibre. This also means a 20 times lower risk of pain and bruising (Hirokawa et al 2014). Because the radial fibre is more effective than the bare tip/end emitting fibre, only 40-60 J/cm has to be delivered compared to 80-100 J/cm for the bare tip fibre. The laser is very gentle and you do not need sedation nor general anaesthetic and 75% of our patients take no analgesia after the procedure. This also means you can go about your normal daily activities after the laser procedure.
You are in confident hands
Claire is a leader in her field and is regularly invited to share her expertise with colleagues. Claire has been a regular presenter at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Conference and the annual Vascular (Australia and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery) meeting (ASC Melbourne 2012, Vascular Hobart 2013, Brisbane 2015, Sydney 2016, Perth 2017), Australian College of Phlebology 2011, and in 2018 was the organiser for the Australian Vascular Surgery section (ANZSVS) of arguably the largest international vein meeting in the world, the Union International de Phlebologie (UIP).
Claire trained for 17 years to become a Vascular Surgeon. This included core based training in Vascular Ultrasound and was, in fact, 1/3 of the examination syllabus. Claire is also an educator in Vascular Ultrasound and has presented at numerous Ultrasound conferences and meetings (Australian Sonographer’s Association 2014, Australasian Society for Ultrasound Medicine 2014 and ASUM 2017. We have 3 songraphers who provide Vascular Ultrasound at Vascular Imaging Centre which is also owned and run by Claire.
You are in caring hands
Your experience at The Vein Centre is our priority. Claire is passionate about patient centred care and our priorities are excellent communication, superior service, a welcoming and comforting environment and, above all, the best and most sustainable results. To optimise your outcome you need not only a perfect technical result but also the confidence and trust that you are in the best place and in the best hands.
We ensure all care is minimally invasive. This best supports the healing process by causing minimal disruption to the body’s natural homeostasis. Your motivation for seeking care is identified from the very first consultation and your concerns are our priority.
Claire’s career dream is to eradicate venous leg ulcer disease. Venous leg ulcers are a debilitating and costly condition. Indeed, this was one of Claire’s motivations for pursuing a career in best practice vein care. During Claire’s training, she witnessed the futility of caring for patients with leg ulcers as they would often recur. She believed there had to be a better way. The evolution of minimally invasive vein care means we now have a solution. The release of the landmark EVRA trial in 2018 has given us all hope. There is now level 1 evidence that those suffering with venous leg ulcers benefit from immediate venous duplex ultrasound and immediate intervention to eradicate their venous disease. Claire is so passionate about eradicating the burden of venous leg ulcer disease, she treats patients with venous leg ulcers at greatly discounted fees.
In 2016 Claire presented in front of 2000 people (AWMA) 3 weeks after her daughter was born, so important was it to share her knowledge with those caring for patients with venous leg ulcers. Claire also presented to an audience of nearly 100 people at the Austin Health Wound Clinic Service in 2014. In 2013, Claire presented at the inaugural Monash University Venous Leg Ulcer Seminar at The Alfred Hospital, “A call to action, reducing venous leg ulcers by 50% in the next 10 years”.
Claire has also completed re-writing the Leg Ulcer chapter in Australia’s National Therapeutic Guidelines for Wound and ulcer Care, for publication late 2018.
Claire has been a board member of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in an attempt to create better drivers for patient centred care, a healthy and sustainable surgical workforce and focus on preventative health care. Claire presents to Junior doctors about Health and Wellbeing (JDOCS 2018 and St Vincent’s 2018) and is half way through obtaining a qualification in Functional Medicine through The Institute for Functional Medicine in the USA. This addresses the root cause of disease not just a ‘pill for an ill’ approach to healthcare.
Claire is passionate about driving and providing equitable access to best practice vein care and is in continuous negotiations with key stakeholders to drive down the cost of care.
Claire holds first and foremost the highest level of integrity in the provision of healthcare and has been a recent contributor to the writing of a framework (to which over 26 APEC countries are cosignatories) that defines the ethical standards for interaction between healthcare providers and Industry.
By providing comprehensive care from the get go, you have the best foundation for a durable solution to your vein health. A comprehensive venous ultrasound roadmap is the foundation for care. Our intention is to leave no residual venous insufficiency so there is no residual venous hypertension, providing the best foundation for prevention against development of new varicose veins.
What does success mean?
Our definition of success: The entire length of vein that has been treated is closed.
We deliver full length vein treatment: Trunk veins are treated with endovenous laser all the way to the ankle.
Varicose veins are not just cosmetic and carry a 4-9 times increased risk of thrombosis (blood clots). 90-95% of people with superficial thrombophlebitis have varicose veins. Nearly 20% of people with superficial thrombophlebitis have a concurrent deep vein thrombosis and 7% pulmonary embolus.