<<What do the treatment of varicose veins and golf have in common??
“It’s a funny thing. The more I practice the luckier I get”
These are the famous words of Arnold Palmer. This premise is true for most things in surgery and none more so than venous disease. Varicose veins are a common disorder and as such traditionally had been dealt with by General Surgeons in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is only in more recent times that Vascular Surgeons have taken ownership of this condition. We are entering a new era in treatment; a decade ago there was a swing from open surgery for gallstones to the now commonplace keyhole or laparoscopic operations. As surgeons who have lived through this change we now see the benefits to patient, reduced pain, earlier return to work and smaller more cosmetically acceptable cuts. Now comes the time for keyhole techniques to change the treatment of varicose veins.
Modern walk in walk out techniques have the advantage of less pain in the recovery period, generally cosmetically better results with smaller incisions and lower recurrence rates. There is also an advantage in that most techniques can be done under local anaesthetic leading to a more rapid recovery for the patient. Strong evidence now exists suggesting that endovenous vein procedures out-perform traditional varicose vein surgery in most situations. However, in order to take advantage of these techniques a Surgeon has to learn new techniques, the use of duplex imaging, catheter placement and the use of tumescent anesthesia.
I am a vascular surgeon in Northern Ireland. There is no doubt among Northern Irish Golfers that Rory McIlroy is probably the most gifted golfer of modern times and is destined for true greatness. He recently changed clubs and with this has come a change of fortune. Now in time I’m sure Rory and his new clubs are going to achieve everything we expect and more, but for now Rory is back on his learning curve. The same situation occurs with new techniques in surgery, it takes more than just doing a new technique to be good at it. It takes practice, adjustments, patience and advice from those who have done more than you. Then, and only then, can the benefits of expertise lead to better results for patients.
Zola Mzimba is a vascular surgeon in Western Health and Social Care Trust, Derry, County Londonderry.
Thank you Zola for your thoughts on the modern treatment of vein disease.
If you would like to know more about the modern treatments for varicose veins, thread veins and related problems, contact me today for a confidential chat
Pease do get in touch. I am happy to offer simple advice by telephone or email for free and without obligation.
The VeinCare Centre also offers a screening assessment with our vascular technologist. For £25 you can have a scan with Wendy Parsons. She is not a doctor and so she could not give you medical advice but she can check your deep veins and your varicose veins and give you an idea of how bad they are and what treatment options might be available. If you would like to have an appointment with Wendy please call 0800 698 3467.