Academic Vascular
Surgery Unit
Research, Development and Innovation

Academic Vascular Surgery Unit

The Academic Vascular Surgical Unit (AVSU) at Hull Royal Infirmary was established 15 years ago and investigates all aspects of vascular disease and associated therapies. The AVSU has a proven track record of attracting multimillion pound grant funding, high impact factor peer reviewed publications, successful supervision of PhD, MD, MSc, BSc and PGCert students, support of the development of successful independent early career researchers.

Our Research

  • Surgical Wounds Healing by Secondary Intention

    Funded by a £2 million NIHR Programme Grant the AVSU in collaboration with colleagues from York and Leeds are investigating the aetiology, impact and management of these wounds.

  • Lower limb peripheral vascular disease (PVD)

    The AVSU has a 15 year history in this field. In particular, the impact of PVD on sufferer’s quality of life, physical function, balance and the clinical and cost effectiveness of intervention. More recently the focus has shifted to analyse the mechanism by which supervised exercise programmes improve outcome in patients with claudication.

  • Lower limb venous disease

    There has been a revolution in the management of varicose veins over the last decade with minimally invasive therapies (endovenous thermal and chemical ablation). The AVSU was at the forefront of this development with the publication of several seminal papers cumulating in a NEJM publication (Brittenden J et al 2014).

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) disease

    Using finite element analysis of CT scans this programme of research has analysed the impact of peak wall stress on AAA expansion, rupture and AAA wall MMPs and TIMPS. More recently investigating the clinical and cost effectiveness of supervised exercise prior to AAA repair. We have also been co-investigators in the NIHR HTA funded studies analysing the effect of ACE inhibitors of the growth rate of small AAA and comparing endovascular and open repair of ruptured AAA.

Our Team

The AVSU has become the hub of a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding and managing all aspects of arterial and venous disease. Staff include 7 consultant vascular surgeons; 6 consultant interventional radiologists; 4 Specialist Registrars (2 ACLs); 1 core surgical trainee; 4 FY1 (1 AF post); 3 vascular technicians / sonographers; 5 specialist / research nurses; 7 research fellows; 2 data entry clerks; and a Research Manager.

Our Facilities

Facilities include fully equipped vascular laboratory (4 ultrasound scanners, plethysmography equipment; treadmills; cardiopulmonary exercise testing, flow mediated vasodilatation, arterial stiffness and pulse wave velocity assessment); access to CT, MRa, combined procedures and interventional radiology suites.


The AVSU collaborates with some of the strongest departments within the University of Hull including: Clinical Biosciences Institute; Centre for Medical Engineering and Technology; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science. It has close links with the Hull York Medical School, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, Clinical Departments in the NHS and to industry.

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