Exciting new surgery is helping to save limbs 11 October 2016 Tonight one of Australia’s leading endovascular surgeons Associate Professor Dr Ramon Varcoe, from the Prince of Wales Hospital in NSW, spoke to Federal MPs, including Health Minister Sussan Ley and Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, about the exciting new methods his team is using to treat people with diabetes and save their limbs. Tonight’s event at Federal Parliament House, supported by the Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes Group co-chaired by Rowan Ramsey MP and Graham Perret MP, is part of Diabetes Australia’s push to encourage the Government to implement a Diabetes Amputation Prevention Initiative. According to a study published last year, surgery performed by Dr Varcoe’s team helped prevent 92 per cent of amputations in people they were treating. The technique, known as endovascular revascularisation, involves inflating collapsed arteries with tiny balloons and then inserting a stent to help keep the veins open. The Prince of Wales Hospital, where Dr Varcoe works, switched to this type of treatment about eight years ago because it was easier on individuals having the surgery and cheaper for the health system. There are more than 4,400 diabetes-related amputations performed in Australian hospitals every year. Research has shown that up to 85 per cent of these are preventable if problems are detected and treated early. Dr Varcoe’s treatment is only used in cases where amputation is the only option.