A specialist or GP: who should you turn to for varicose vein treatment?

Some people still dismiss varicose veins as a purely cosmetic issue, yet research into the condition has revealed if it’s left untreated, it can actually lead to potentially serious health conditions. In very rare cases, it can even prove to be fatal. This message is starting to get across, but it’s left many wondering where they should turn to for treatment.

Is it possible to have varicose vein treatment on the NHS?

In recent years, the Clinical Commissioning Groups that approve and regulate services in the NHS have been forced to introduce health rationing for many ‘low priority conditions’ that previously would have received treatment. Every CCG varies, but in Cornwall certain criteria have been introduced before treatment is approved:

  • Varicose eczema on the lower limbs which is thought to be caused by chronic venous insufficiency
  • Superficial vein thrombosis which is characterised by the appearance of hard, painful veins in the legs
  • Recurrent or ascending superficial phlebitis; this is an inflamed varicose vein near the surface of the skin which results in hard, painful lumps underneath the skin and a red appearance to the overlying skin
  • A venous ulcer on the lower limbs which has not healed within two weeks
  • Severe swelling to the lower limbs
  • Varicose veins with arterial insufficiency
  • Lipodermatosclerosis; a skin condition of the lower legs
  • Incipient ulceration with the skin appearing red or hard

Patients that are not suitable for referral for NHS treatment include the following:

  • Patients with no symptoms or changes to the skin condition associated with venous disease
  • Patients whose concerns are deemed ‘cosmetic’
  • Patients with very mild symptoms, such as itching, aching and mild swelling or eczema

Why a vein specialist is your best option

Although most varicose veins are only a cosmetic issue, it’s still important to have them correctly treated to ensure they do not worsen and also to improve self-confidence.

Varicose vein specialists such as the Cornwall Vein Clinic, have been carrying out private varicose vein treatments for many years. They have significant experience and offer a wide range of different treatment options. Book a consultation today to find out more about the range of treatments on offer.