Professor Mark Whiteley
Research from The Whiteley Clinic has suggested that 1 in 7 women having varicose vein surgery are currently getting the wrong operation. Even worse, this rises to 1 in 5 women if they have had children.
As haemorrhoids are usually treated by bowel surgeons with little research or interest in venous surgery, traditionally haemorrhoids have just been chopped out - not only a very painful operation but also leading to recurrence in a large proportion of cases.
I suspect that as with many things in life, when a problem is found, the simple opposite of the cause of the problem is not always the solution. Sometimes common sense and understanding of the problem can lead to a far better solution which does not have increased economic and organisational costs.
Leg ulcers are a horrible condition that can not only cause pain and suffering to the person with the condition but also affects everybody around them. Patients with leg ulcers often have to give up work, become housebound and can change from independent people to patients requiring constant help and assistance from family, friends, carers and healthcare professionals.
This week sees the 15th anniversary of the first minimally invasive varicose vein operation in the UK and what a massive difference has occurred.
I personally do not believe in the distinction between medicine and "alternative medicine". I would simply say, if something works to cure or alleviate a medical condition it is medicine and if it does not, it is not medicine.
Despite being only 12 years old, his veins responded exactly the same as any adults to treatment. The biggest difference came when I phoned up the day following surgery to check he was all right, to find he was already out playing football with his friends!
It is amazing how many people claim to have had "phlebitis". The term seems to be used by the general public and many doctors and nurses to mean any pain or inflammation in the lower legs. In fact, it is a term so commonly used that many people think they know what they mean by "phlebitis" when they clearly don't.
When a patient has been referred by a family practitioner or private medical insurance company to a specialist, and a substandard result occurs, who takes the blame?
As we all know, the medical world moves slowly, particularly when it comes to recommendations or guidelines. In many instances when drugs or malignant conditions are being assessed, there is a very good rationale for this slow change and there are many examples to support a thorough and well-reasoned (albeit slow) approach.