Are Varicose Veins Medical or Aesthetic? NHS or Private?

Mr Costas Kyriakides
By Mr Costas Kyriakides

Mr Costas Kyriakides is Consultant Vascular Surgeon at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, and has over 15 years experience treating patients.

As has been reported recently in the media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to receive treatment for varicose veins on the NHS, despite the fact that the majority of patients who have the condition suffer from often severe health complaints including tired, aching, heavy and swollen legs.

However, as funding continues to be squeezed, varicose veins are increasingly being classed as an aesthetic rather than a medical issue and thus treatment is denied.

If you suffer from varicose veins, it is always worth getting a second opinion if you are initially denied treatment. However, if your Primary Care Trust has imposed strict guidelines on offering treatment, then the chances are you will still be turned away.

This means that for many people seeking treatment privately is the only option, although of course this is not a possibility for everyone.

If you do opt for private treatment, then endovenous laser treatment, or EVLT, which is carried out under local anaesthetic, is the best option.

EVLT uses a laser beam to seal of the varicose vein from the surrounding blood supply. With the blood supply cut off, the offending vein will simply be reabsorbed by the body and the blood flow will be diverted to other, healthy veins.

This results in the varicose vein disappearing from view, and immediate alleviation from the aches and pains that it was causing.

Varicose vein treatment

If you have been refused treatment by your PCT and are not in a position to pay privately then you should monitor your varicose veins closely and continue to return to your GP if your condition worsens.

Varicose veins are still technically a condition treated by the NHS, so if your PCT can be convinced of the worsening health implications, then you may finally be offered treatment.

If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together some varicose veins and endovenous laser treatment FAQs just for you. 

If you have more questions, you can use the varicose veins and endovenous laser treatment questions feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited varicose veins and endovenous laser treatment clinics in your area.

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