Those suffering from venous disease are finding it more difficult to get referrals for treatment due to cost-cutting measures on the NHS.
Now, referrals are being delayed and only those suffering from severe venous disease are being referred to the NHS. This means many patients are being left without treatment, with many not even realising they need treatment.
So, why are varicose veins being treated as a low priority in the UK? Well, it’s largely because they don’t pose an obvious threat until they become quite severe.
Understanding the varicose vein grading system
GPs typically use a grading system to determine when to refer patients for varicose vein treatment. The grades range from 1-6 and referrals are only given to patients who exceed grade 3.
The main reason behind this is because prior to grade 3, the only reported symptoms of the condition aren’t actually medical. There isn’t any discomfort or pain and the issue appears to be largely cosmetic, with most patients simply disliking how the veins look. So, it’s understandable GPs wouldn’t refer them for treatment.
However, patients who experience grade 3 symptoms often have swelling, discomfort and pain. So, it is these patients who are suffering the most as they are being refused a referral for treatment until grade 4.
Treatment is available, regardless of grade
The main thing patients with venous disease need to know is that they don’t need to go through the NHS for treatment. Treatment is available and in some cases, will be covered by insurance.
At the Cornwall Vein Clinic, we offer one of the largest choices of varicose vein treatments available. We encourage patients to seek treatment as early as possible. Not only will this prevent you from experiencing the more uncomfortable symptoms further down the line, but it will also make the treatment much easier. In early cases, non-invasive procedures can be used, whereas once the condition has progressed past a certain point, surgery may be the only option.
To see which treatment options are available to you, book a consultation today.