AN ORPINGTON surgeon is trying to bust the myths around varicose veins by offering a free assessment.

Many people believe this condition only affects middle-aged women and is a cosmetic issue however consultant vascular surgeon Eddie Chaloner is trying to dispel this view.

He is encouraging men to seek medical attention before the affliction gets to an advanced stage.

Dr Chaloner said: “Around 40 per cent of women will develop varicose veins as some stage of their life, while in men this figure is thought to be around the 25 per cent mark.”

“Men with varicose veins tend to visit their GP or a specialist at a later stage of the condition – usually when the veins are very painful or when they are starting to cause skin damage.

“By this stage they are at a higher risk of developing the worst vein problems, such as venous ulcers.”

Varicose veins develop when the small valves inside the veins stop working properly.

When the valves weaken or are damaged, the blood can flow backwards and pool in the vein causing it to be swollen and enlarged.

Any vein in the body can become varicose but they mostly occur in the legs because of the extra pressure put on this part of the body from standing and walking.

During March Mr Chaloner and his team at BMI Chelsfield Park and The Sloane Hospitals, in Bucks Cross Road, Orpington are offering men and women in the local community the chance to come in for a free vein consultation.

For more information, call 0800 015 2484, visit or