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What to do if your GP won’t refer you to a specialist regarding your varicose veins

by – May 20, 2016

GP won't refer you for varicose veins treatment

How to get your varicose veins properly assessed

The trouble is that historically varicose veins were considered to be a cosmetic problem and therefore this is what practitioners, doctors and nurses were taught and a lot of them still believe it.

Nowadays, our knowledge regarding varicose veins is far superior, due to investigation and research. We now know that when you can see varicose veins on the surface of the skin, it is only bulging veins reflecting the fact that inside, the valves aren’t working.

Without a full venous duplex ultrasound scan, no doctor can tell you how severe they are or whether or not they are likely to get more severe. Now there are some criteria around as to whether or not the NHS or certain private health insurance companies will pay for the referral or not and that comes down to your symptoms and sometimes if there are any skin changes.

But the science is very clear. If you have varicose veins on the legs that you can see and any symptoms what-so-ever, your doctor should refer you to be seen by somebody who can do an expert venous duplex ultrasound scan, not a Doppler scan. Once you have this information and diagnosis from the scan, you can make your own decision as to whether to have treatment or not.

This is backed by the NICE Guidelines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), which states anyone experiencing any of the following, should be referred to a vascular service.

  • Symptomatic primary or symptomatic recurrent varicose veins.
  • Lower‑limb skin changes, such as pigmentation or eczema, thought to be caused by chronic venous insufficiency.
  • Superficial vein thrombosis (characterised by the appearance of hard, painful veins) and suspected venous incompetence.
  • A venous leg ulcer (a break in the skin below the knee that has not healed within 2 weeks).
  • A healed venous leg ulcer.

For more information on treating varicose veins, please see our website. Alternatively, contact us using the contact form, email at info@thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk or call us on 01483 477180.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your doctor or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site and the information provided is not a substitute for medical advice.
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