During the Covid-19 lockdown, varicose veins training has continued online.
The Vascular Online Training (VOT) is a weekly international webinar. It was set up by Prof Ayman Fakhry and Dr Mohamed Omar El-Farok.
Each week, hundreds of vein specialists from around the world log in to watch world experts lecture or debate. Panellists ask relevant questions of the experts. Doctors watching online through Zoom or Facebook can also post questions.
Over the last six weeks, Prof Mark Whiteley has been a regular panellist.
This Friday, 29 May 2020, Mark Whiteley was involved in a debate with the very talented Dr Houman Jalaie.
This debate followed a fascinating lecture on the effects of Covid-19 on the venous system. This lecture, given by Dr. Eduardo Ramaccioti from Brazil, explained how Covid-19 is causing clots to form in the venous system. This is not only in the legs (DVT) but also in the veins in the lungs directly. In addition, clots are also being found elsewhere around the body causing severe venous and vascular problems.
The debate then followed. As with all formal debates, a vote was held before the debate started, to see what most doctors would answer without hearing the arguments. Before the debate, 87% agreed with the arguments that Dr Jalaie had been asked to defend and only 13% with the arguments Prof Whiteley had been asked to put forward.
Both Dr Jalaie and Prof Whiteley agreed on many points. In most patients, true venous experts would treat patients with a similar point of view.
The argument came down to how one assesses the iliac veins in patients who only have varicose veins and no other problems. Prof Whiteley put forward his research and also long-term results from The Whiteley Clinic.
As with many medical debates, this was a very good hearted affair and you can see it for yourself on: https://youtu.be/sbP4XrDUMg4.
Although varicose veins and focusing treatments are often thought to be “cosmetic”, during the Covid-19 crisis the importance of venous disease has been coming more obvious.
A great many, if not most, deaths from Covid-19 seem to be coming from clots in the lung. These do not seem to be the classic pulmonary embolus from a deep vein thrombosis, but seem to be clots appearing directly in the lung.
Moreover, during the lockdown, many patients who are suffering from painful leg ulcers, phlebitis and possible deep-vein thrombosis have found it difficult to get diagnosis and treatment. With decreased mobility, phlebitis and deep-vein thrombosis are more likely to occur.
It has been useful for all doctors interested in venous diseases to be able to login and watch experts talk about venous diseases, often grouped together under “varicose veins”.
The Whiteley Clinic has been at the forefront of venous investigation and treatments since 1999. Under our “Covid-secure” protocols, we have now opened our clinics in Guildford and London, and our Bristol clinic will be reopening shortly.
We will continue to offer our patients the very latest and best treatments available, based on our international reputation as evidenced by these invitations to speak from around the world. In this way, we aim to distance ourselves from vascular surgeons who offered vein treatments as cheaply as possible, and aim to offer our patients the very best treatments available.