Varicose veins treatment with NHS refund
About 25% of the adult population suffers from chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Leg ulcers are more likely to occur in women than men, usually between 50 and 80 years of age.
Many people ask us about the treatment of varicose veins abroad with the NHS refund. We wrote this blog post to answer some of the questions that we hear regularly.
Firstly, according to the NHS recommendations, only patients with disease symptoms should be referred to vascular procedures, and aesthetic surgery in most cases will not be funded, or reimbursed, by the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Groups).
CCGs usually fund the treatment of varicose veins if the symptoms are confirmed by duplex ultrasound and when reflux is present.
According to the NHS guidelines, patients should only be referred for treatment if they have at least one of the following conditions:
-Primary or recurrent varicose veins combined with symptoms in the lower limbs (usually pain, pain, discomfort, swelling, feeling of heaviness or itching) seriously affecting the quality of life of the patient, which has been fully documented (medical documentation)
-Superficial vein thrombosis (characterized by the appearance of hard, painful veins) and suspected venous insufficiency.
-Changes in the skin of the lower limbs, such as pigmentation or eczema, which are probably caused by chronic venous insufficiency
-Leg ulcers with varicose veins (gap in the skin below the knee, which has not healed within 2 weeks)
-Cured leg ulcers with varicose veins
Treatment techniques that are usually approved by the NHS are endovenous [laparoscopic] techniques such as endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) and percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA). They provide minimally invasive alternatives to surgical ligation and removal of the saphenous vein.
Foam sclerotherapy is usually not funded unless endothermic ablation is inappropriate.
Open operations (ligation and vein removal) are reserved for cases in which minimally invasive options are inappropriate. Compression stockings should only be offered if the intervention is not appropriate or the patient has refused such treatment.
If you are struggling with varicose veins and are eligible for surgical treatment in the light of the NHS guidelines, there is a good chance that you can be treated abroad (eg in Poland) with a subsequent reimbursement of NHS treatment costs.
If you have any questions about treatment abroad under the EU Directive or services provided by Med4EU, our consultants will be at your disposal.