‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to try to help.
The first question in the series appeared in The Crawley Observer on 18 July 2012, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
“I have unsightly veins on my legs and one is worrying me as it is swelling, throbs and looks like a worm. I have been to my GP who says they may be varicose veins and that I should put my feet up more! I have kids, so that is out of the question – is there any treatment for these? What should I do?” Christine, Crawley
Mr Tom Loosemore, consultant vascular surgeon, said, “varicose veins are dilated, tortuous veins that commonly occur on the legs. Although varicose veins are often regarded as a cosmetic problem there are a number of medical issues associated with varicose veins. They may cause aching and discomfort, be prone to episodes of thrombosis when they become sore and painful or they may bleed. The most serious medical problem is that they may produce discolouration of the skin around the ankle which can progress to ulceration.”
Mr Loosemore then goes on to speak about the treatment options, saying, “The traditional treatment of ‘tieing and stripping’ has been largely replaced by newer minimally invasive techniques that are less uncomfortable and result in faster recovery. Careful assessment by a surgeon using duplex ultrasound is essential to ensure that the most appropriate treatment is offered to each patient.”