Over the 50 years that vascular surgery has been practised in Australia and New Zealand there have been major advances and refinements of surgical techniques, particularly with the advent of endovascular surgery, spurred on especially with the introduction of endovascular aortic aneurysm stent grafting. At the same time, there has been a revolution in medical imaging, with the introduction of ultrasound, computed tomography scanning and magnetic resonance scanning. Vascular surgery in Australia and New Zealand was initially an interest of either general or cardiothoracic surgeons, but was recognized as a subspecialty of general surgery with the formation of the Section of Vascular Surgery within the Division of General Surgery of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1972.
In 1981, a 2-year training programme in vascular surgery was established and in 1983 an Australian and New Zealand Chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery was formed. In 1995, vascular surgery was recognized as a specialty in its own right with the formation of the Division of Vascular Surgery within the College. There has been a separate examination for Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (Vascular) since 1997. In 2001, the Chapter changed its name to The Australian and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery and in 2002 it amalgamated with and took over the functions of the Division of Vascular Surgery, which was formally dissolved.