Vascular surgeon Dr Andrew Cartmill looks forward to expanding his services in Rockhampton.
Vascular surgeon Dr Andrew Cartmill looks forward to expanding his services in Rockhampton. Chris Ison

CQ patients more stoic: surgeon

THE big differences between Rockhampton patients and their Brisbane counterparts include Central Queenslanders' stoic approach to handling pain and an appreciative nature of good service, Dr Andrew Cartmill says.

Dr Cartmill is a Brisbane-based vascular and endovascular surgeon who is stepping up his workload in Central Queensland by becoming what's thought to be the first vascular surgeon to operate in Rockhampton.

He will base himself for two days a month at the city's Mater Hospital, operating on one of these days and seeing patients on the other.

Dr Cartmill has been coming to both Rockhampton and Gladstone one day each month for the past three years to see patients.

During this time he has been touched by the warmth of Central Queenslanders.

On Thursday, he provided some illustrative examples of why.

"People are so appreciative - one man brought me in 30kg of mandarins in green shopping bags to say thanks for his care," Dr Cartmill said.

Another patient gave him two bottles of home-produced honey and yet another recently presented him with a hand-made clock.

He said regional Queenslanders appeared more stoic than their city counterparts, tolerating pain and illness to more advanced stages.

"My most dramatic stories come from Rockhampton," Dr Cartmill said.

"If I put my hand on my heart, I would have to say Rockhampton people are tougher."

Dr Cartmill is looking at doing some vascular operations in Rockhampton, meaning patients no longer have to travel hundreds of kilometres from home.

He said where vascular surgeons used to see many smokers in their line of work, these days they are starting to see more people suffering as a result of their lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes is a growing community issue and while problems associated with it are widespread, it does cause problems with the arteries.

"It used to be mostly smokers we would see more of and their problems were generally with the larger diameter arteries and can therefore be easier to fix," Dr Cartmill said.

"Diabetes tends to affect the smaller arteries and as such is often harder to salvage."



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