Vascular Surgery  |  Elective Services

Vascular Surgery

Elective Services

Vascular referrals are prioritised by Senior Medical Officers based on the information contained within. Additional information should be attached where available. The priorisation tool used to triage referrals can be found below under Access Criteria.

All accepted referrals will be seen within a maximum waiting time of 4 months, unless there is a clinical reason for delay.

Referral acceptance is a follows:

First Specialist Assessments

Wait Times

Waiting priority 1


Waiting priority 2A


Waiting priority 2B


Waiting priority 3


Waiting priority 4


At First Specialist Assessment (FSA), patients are assessed by a specialist and if surgery is required, patients are then prioritised using the National  CPAC tool.  A 0-100 score is allocated to each patient.

Prior to acceptance for surgery, patients are assessed in Anaesthetic preassessment clinic to ensure they are fit for surgery.

All patients accepted for surgery will be treated within a maximum waiting time of 4 months, unless there is a clinical reason for delay.

All Vascular surgery is done at Tauranga Hospital. 

Surgery acceptance is as follows:

Treatment List

Waiting priority 1


Waiting priority 2


Waiting priority 3



  • Prioritisation tool for other general surgical and vascular referrals :




Examples (not an exhaustive list)

1 -
  • High risk life/limb
  • Major deterioration/exacerbation with delay
  • Otherwise requiring acute admission
  • Pressing other or "psychosocial" factors
  • Symptomatic/obstructing colon cancer
  • Vomiting and gastric outlet obstruction
  • Breast cancer/young distraught patient
  • Diabetic foot sepsis/gangrene
  • Obstructive jaundice
  • Crescendo TIA/carotid stenosis
2A -
  • Proven/likely malignancy (not BCC)
  • Alarm symptoms/signs malignancy
  • Frequent severe painful/disabling conditions
  • Significant short/medium term risks
  • Hx severe complicated cholelithiasis e.g. biliary pancreatitis
  • Hx obstructed inguinal hernia
  • Palpable rectal mass
  • Suspicious breast lump
  • FNA +ve ear and neck lump
  • Elderly iron deficiency anaemia
  • Ischemic rest pain/nocturnal leg hanging
  • Large AAA
2B - Semi-Urgent
  • Occasional/moderate pain only
  • Persisting minor disability/loss of function
  • Non-specific symptoms/signs +/- low risk demographic requiring investigation
  • Low grade sepsis
  • Mild symptoms cholelithiasis
  • Fistula-in-ano
  • IBS symptoms/young adult
  • GORD/dyspepsia/young adult
  • Anal outlet bleeding/young adult
  • Venous ulcer disease
  • Chronic pilonidal disease
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Non-specific breast symptoms/mastalgia
  • Re-excision melanoma surgery
3 -
  • Minimal functional impairment
  • Likely benign
  • Chronic/stable
  • Little short/medium term risk
  • Significant family history
  • Asymptomatic carotid disease
  • Non-specific vascular symptoms
  • FAP screening
  • Asymptomatic hyperPTHism
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Small AAA
  • Epitheliomata
  • Chronic goitre
  • BCC/SCC if surgery likely to be more than "minor"
3 S -
  • Same as Grade 3 but likely to require  surgery
4 -
  • Minor/nil loss of function
  • Minor/nil discomfort
  • Benign or low grade malignant
  • Self limiting
  • Low risk
  • Uncomplicated hernia
  • Lipoma
  • Seb cyst
  • Cosmetic (scars/tattoos)
  • Ganglion
  • Low risk "screening"
  • Skin tags
  • Minor BCC/SCC surgery


  • "Clinical Priority" criteria are a guide rather than exhaustive, complete or exclusory.  The grading surgeon may well take into account other factors such as comorbidity, age, history and previous investigation results to help prioritise a particular referral.  The examples similarly are not necessarily prescriptive e.g. an elderly patient with severe ischemic heart disease and claudication may have a different priority from a postman with similar symptoms.
  • Simple skin cancers are not considered "urgent" malignancies.

  • Referrals for symptomatic but uncomplicated varicose veins are unlikely to be accepted. Varicose veins with complications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • The waiting time criteria are to be seen as a guide to maximum wait - many 2As and 2Bs will be seen sooner rather than at the "maximum" wait time.  If patients cannot be seen within time then the referrer will be notified by administrative staff.

Last updated : Thursday, December 21, 2017
Next review date : Friday, December 21,2018

Disclaimer: This site is intended to be flexible and frequently updated. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, all information should be verified.