NHS classes varicose veins as cosmetic

If you are developing varicose veins and assuming that the NHS will be able to sort them out for you, you may be surprised and somewhat disappointed to find out that NHS has classed varicose veins as a ‘cosmetic’ issue for all but the very worst cases. 

As such, treatment for varicose veins has become a lot less common on the NHS. Varicose veins may look ugly, but if they are not causing issues such as pain or ulcers, they are now unfortunately unlikely to meet the requirements for referral.

Yet frustratingly, varicose veins is a progressive condition, which means that they will continue to get worse without treatment.  It is a gradual process of watching them get thicker and lumpier with time.

NHS advice for living with varicose veins includes wearing compression stockings to reduce the pressure and alleviate discomfort, as well as staying active with a healthy diet to manage weight and keep circulation healthy. These actions can help for some patients, but ultimately lifestyle measures are not a ‘cure’ for varicose veins, just a way of managing to live with them.

Understandably, many patients are keen to get varicose veins treated as early as possible to stop them from getting worse. It’s natural to want to avoid the severe form of the problem as it is extremely unsightly and uncomfortable.

Private Sector Treatment

Essentially, categorising most varicose vein cases as ‘cosmetic’ means that treatment for varicose veins on the NHS has been the victim of cutbacks, so now patients who might previously have qualified are looking at the private sector to have treatment.

The good news is that for those who are willing and able to fund their own treatment, the private sector offers a range of superior treatments using advanced technology.

There are options suitable for mild, moderate or severe varicose veins, using the latest laser and surgical techniques.

At Cosmedics’ London Vein Centre, the following treatments are available with our experienced Vascular Surgeon on a ‘walk in walk out’ basis with no overnight stay and no general anaesthetic:

  • EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) treatment offers a 95% success rate. Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer EVLA treatment at their London vein treatment centre with a renowned vascular surgeon. Prices start at £1,650 per leg (1 vein)
  • ClariVein® is a treatment which combines a mechanical with a chemical action to seal
  • Foam sclerotherapy an injectable treatment for smaller varicose veins or larger thread veins
  • Micro surgery for physical, surgical removal of the affected vein where necessary

varicose veins ankles treatment

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.

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