NHS Varicose Vein Treatment Grades

NHS Varicose Vein Treatment

Years ago, varicose veins could be treated on the NHS for a great many patients. Nowadays, the grading criteria have been set so that far fewer people qualify for treatment. 

If you are exploring the NHS option for varicose vein treatment, it helps to understand the criteria.

NHS Varicose Vein Grading System

Doctors and medical professionals in the NHS grade varicose vein severity on a scoring system of 1 to 6. 1 is the most minor grade of varicose veins which are generally cosmetic and 6 the most severe, which cause skin ulceration.

  1. Grade 1
    Essentially tiny thread veins and mainly cosmetic.
    Most commonly seen on ladies with fair skin, where they are more visible.
    Not treated on NHS
  2. Grade 2
    Isolated varicose veins – quite small with some minor swelling.
    Also mainly considered cosmetic and therefore not treated on NHS
  3. Grade 3
    Larger bulging/bulky varicose veins that are being filled from a leaky vein deeper inside the leg that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
    Patient will report pain and discomfort including aching, throbbing, leg swelling and soreness; especially on standing for long periods.
    In the past, the NHS would treat grade 3 veins surgically, but now patients are not eligible for treatment. They are will be advised to use compression stockings instead.
  4. Grade 4
    These are established varicose veins with  complications such as phlebitis (vein is inflamed, hard and lumpy) or venous eczema where the skin at the ankle becomes dry and itchy.
    Should be treated on the NHS
  5. Grade 5
    Varicose veins with severe skin damage to the skin at the ankle which becomes discoloured with a brown pigment.
    Should be treated on the NHS
  6. Grade 6
    Varicose veins are a venous ulcer. This is very painful and hard to heal.
    Should be treated on the NHS

While the NHS can be expected to treat varicose veins at levels 4-6, the patient will have often suffered with many years discomfort and inconvenience before finally reaching the qualification criteria.

That’s why many patients prefer to have their varicose veins treated privately, to avoid them getting worse.

Varicose Vein Treatment

Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer private varicose vein treatment and see many patients who have been refused treatment on the NHS.

Their London Vein Treatment Centre offers EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) laser varicose vein removal with a vascular surgeon with prices starting at £1,650 per leg (1 vein).

They also offer foam sclerotherapy and micro surgery in order to provide a tailor-made service with the most appropriate treatment for each individual.

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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