The Doctors: Gross Anatomy
We’ve all heard some uncomfortable medical stories and legends. But there are some real and disturbing medical issues that people struggle with every day. In a Very Special Episode of The Doctors, the team is tackling what they call Gross Anatomy.
From boils and rashes to messed up feet and ears, these medical conditions are presumably so sensitive or disturbing that the show was filmed without an audience. Instead, the set was completely white, which seems more like an ominous portent of death than a suggestion of hope for the medically desperate.
The Drs: Boils & Scarring Symptoms
First, The Doctors introduced 28-year-old Tarra, a mom suffering from boils all over her body, including under her arms and in her groin. She said it limits her ability to play with her children, and that she feels judged by strangers when she is out in public.
Dermatologist Dr. Glynis Ablon met with Tarra to get to the bottom of her condition, which she’s been struggling with for about eight years. Her previous experiences with doctors haven’t been helpful, she said.
The Doctors: Hidradenitis Treatments
Tarra thinks she has Hidradenitis Suppurativa, based on some Googling she’s done. Dr. Ablon examined her underarm Cysts, and she thinks that Tarra’s diagnosis is accurate. She said they should check a culture of the area to see if anything is growing, as well as doing steroid injections to help heal the scar tissue.
Finally, Dr. Ablon said laser technology can work to shrink Tarra’s abscesses before they can develop into scar tissue. She immediately took the culture and gave Tarra some injections, having her look the other way so she doesn’t have to see the needle going in.
That’s what I do when I get shots. Needles don’t bother me, but that doesn’t mean I want to watch them penetrating my skin. Dr. Ablon explained that the culture results would determine if Tarra needs to take antibiotics.
The Drs: Hidradenitis Laser Therapy
The next day, Dr. Ablon and Tarra put on safety glasses for a cooling laser treatment designed to cool her hair follicles and prevent the formation of future cysts. Tarra said there was only a little stinging during the laser treatments. The procedure went quickly as well.
Dr. Ablon got Tarra’s test results and found that her cysts were infected with Staph, so she prescribed a steroid and a follow up appointment after 30 days. She added that two to five more laser treatments might be needed to help Tarra get back to normal.
The Doctors: Varicose Veins
What can you do to correct your Varicose Veins? Sometimes the answer is “not much,” since genetics are a factor. But there are therapies that may work for some people.
Dr. Andrew Ordon met with Tracie, whose Varicose Veins have gotten worse with each of her four pregnancies. Now she’s uncomfortable with her legs and won’t even go swimming with her family because she is concerned about her body.
The Drs: Varicose Veins & Thrombosis
The veins would swell during her pregnancies, causing Superficial Thrombosis. “Now that I’m not pregnant, if I’m standing too long, yeah, they hurt,” she said. Treatments like ice, baths, and elevation provided only minimal relief.
Tracie said that her paternal grandmother also had problems with Varicose Veins. Dr. Andrew’s examination noted that the veins were coiled and prominent. She even looked bruised in some spots where blood was pooling.
The Doctors: Varicose Vein Laser Treatment
Dr. Andrew explained that Varicose Veins are caused by failing valves in the veins. Blood cannot be pushed back up toward the heart. He said that Vein Stripping, via incision and removal, used to be the only treatment for this issue.
But now there is a new laser treatment that is less invasive. Dr. Andrew referred Tracie to his colleague, Dr. Rajeev Rao, a Vascular Surgeon. He planned to perform Endovenous Ablation on her, using a catheter to remove the valves and cauterize the vein.
The Drs TV: Endovenous Ablation Procedure
The surgery was bloody by this show’s standards, and since you won’t be trying this at home, I’ll skip the precise measurements about where to insert the catheter. Let’s leave that to the professionals.
Dr. Rao injected local anesthetic to help separate the vein from the surrounding skin. Tracie reported some stinging during that part of her treatment. The laser is designed to use heat to shrink the veins down to a normal size.
After the procedure, Tracie had to wrap her legs in bandages for 24 hours.