Ludwigshafen Hospital's Vascular Centre
An interdisciplinary approach is critical to modern medicine. This is why we have been working particularly hard at promoting closer cooperation between our vascular surgery team and our colleagues from angiology, radiology, cardiology, diabetology, nephrology, anaesthesiology, physiotherapy, as well as pain management and care services. As part of this drive we have been working together to achieve official certification of the Vascular Centre in accordance with the guidelines of the German Society for Endovascular and Vascular Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gefäßchirurgie), the German Society of Radiology (Deutsche Röntgengesellschaft) and the German Society for Angiology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Angiologie), all of which are expected to be completed in 2012.

Forming part of a tertiary care hospital, our Vascular Centre is able to offer the entire range of up-to-date diagnostic and treatment procedures which are available in the field of vascular diseases today, as well as a team of skilled and experienced experts. Currently, the total number of inpatients and outpatients treated at the clinic each year is approximately 2000. Our focus is on the treatment of acute and chronic circulation disorders, vascular changes associated with diabetes (e.g. diabetic foot), aortic aneurysms, narrowing of the carotid artery (carotid stenosis), as well as the prevention and/or treatment of stroke and dialysis shunt placement. Depending on the specifics of the individual case, treatment may involve endovascular techniques, open surgery or conservative measures.

How is treatment organised?
Once your detailed medical history has been gathered you will undergo a thorough physical examination and, usually, an ultrasound scan. For planning and treatment purposes it is important that we know about any significant details from your medical history as well as any current medical reports. Depending on the results of the initial examination, you may then be referred for further investigations, such as a catheter angiography or CT or MRI scanning.

The following gives an overview of the vascular diagnostic procedures currently on offer:
• Treadmill Exercise Test
• Doppler and Duplex scanning
• CT Angiography
• MRI Angiography
• Preoperative Catheter DSA (Digital Subtraction Angiography)
• Intraoperative Angiography
• Phlebography

Once the results from all investigations are available, these are reviewed by an interdisciplinary team before the optimal treatment choice is discussed with the patient and his/her family. Therapy options include conservative, endovascular and open surgical treatment methods. The decision as to which treatment option is the most appropriate is mainly dependent on clinical presentation. However, the decision-making process also includes factors such as the individual patient's job, leisure activities, age and general health. Physiotherapy, orthopaedic technology and, in particular, specialist patient and wound care also form an integral part of our approach to treatment. The Hospital has a dedicated team of wound care specialists, who have developed standards of wound care management that are applicable across all departments.
Another important aspect of selecting an appropriate treatment option is to plan ahead for what will need to happen following the patient's discharge from hospital. This is why we start planning post discharge care as early as possible and, where necessary, will arrange residential rehabilitation or treatment on an outpatient basis in the patient's own home. We strive to establish and maintain close and direct contact with the doctors responsible for the patient's further care, thus ensuring a continuum of care and a smooth transition.. The Vascular Centre will work closely with the doctors responsible for the patient's further care to ensure the Centre's expertise remains available to patients even after completion of their inpatient and, where applicable, follow-up treatment. Check-ups and specialist wound care treatments can be offered on an outpatient basis.

Conditions treated include:

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Stroke following narrowing of the carotid artery

Varicose veins

Use of shunts in renal replacement therapy