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Regina medical students sweep the awards


Two Regina-based medical students recently presented studies conducted as part of last year’s Summer Student Research program at the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery (CSVS) annual meeting in Halifax. The CSVS gives two awards each year for the top papers presented at the meeting, and the two students swept the awards, beating out papers presented by students, residents, fellows and academic vascular surgeons from across Canada.

Daniel Meyer received the Josephus C. Luke Award for “the best clinical or basic research abstract presented at the annual meeting.” Abdalla Butt won the Sigvaris President’s Award for “the most outstanding abstract dealing with venous disease presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting.”

The awards were presented at the Citadel in Halifax by CSVS president Dr. Greg Browne. Both papers are reviewed below:


Daniel Meyer
Daniel Meyer receives his award.
Investigating Factors that Delay Carotid Endarterectomy in Patients with Symptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis
Principal investigator: Daniel Meyer
Supervisor: Dr. David Kopriva

Carotid atherosclerosis is an important cause of ischemic stroke. Patients with severe carotid stenosis are recommended to undergo carotid endarterectomy (CEA), a surgical procedure to open the carotid artery, within 14 days of the onset of neurologic symptoms. This study found 30 per cent of patients receive CEA within the recommended timeframe.

We found the following factors to be significant in meeting the guideline: delayed patient presentation, the nature of the first provider seen, the number of contacts and referrals prior to vascular surgery, and the nature of the patient’s index neurologic event. The primary delay to care was which provider was seen first; however, further analysis revealed an apparent inequity in expeditiousness of investigations and consults based on the ordering provider, which may indicate a significant system issue. Having identified these factors, interventions can be identified to correct them and increase the number of patients meeting the guideline.
Abdalla Butt
Abdalla Butt receive his award.

Economic Implications of publically funded endovascular saphenous vein ablation
Principal Investigator: Abdalla Butt
Supervisor: Dr. David Kopriva

Health regions across Canada have slowly been delisting public health coverage for varicose vein ablation. However, a synergistic co-operation between vascular surgeons and the health regions in Saskatchewan resulted in a first of its kind, a publically funded Endovenous Ablation (EVA) program in the province.

The goals of this study were to compare health system costs of EVA and surgical stripping and determine if the availability of EVA changed the utilization rate of historical controls undergoing long saphenous vein stripping (LSVS). The study found that utilization rates for the LSVS procedure did not change from pre-EVA to post-EVA eras. Surgical stripping by general surgeons decreased from 52 cases per year to 7.2, while surgical stripping by vascular surgeons decreased, from 38 to 13 a year.

Case costs of surgical stripping ($1965.12/case) were higher than of Endovenous Laser Treatment, ($1358.79/case) and Radiofrequency Ablation ($1410.54/case). Total annual costs of LSVS decreased from $176,860.35 to $134,524.88. Thus, the introduction of publically funded EVA has reduced rates of LSVS and reduced costs to our health system by roughly $42,335.47 per year.