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Can you get varicose veins done on the NHS?

(23 Posts)
Cazwa Mon 11-Aug-08 20:44:49

Or do you have to be virtually bed-ridden with them before they'll do anything? My MIL reckons they won't do you unless its really bad, like skin-ulcers and preventing you walking.

Which makes mine pale into comparison somewhat (which I wish it would pale away). Its a knobbly nasty bugger that runs down from my inner thigh to my shin and looks minging. People always ask how Ive bruised my leg as one patch is a bunch of broken veins. Now I know its just a cosmetic thing but it really bugs me, I dont feel I can wear skirts any more. Im only 33 angry.

Ive had 2 pregnancies v close together which made it worse, but have lost loads of weight since having DS 9mo ago and thought this would help but if anything it is getting worse.

I am about to book a docs appt to discuss, will they laugh me out of the surgery or can the NHS do it, or will I need to get a loan to get this done privately (which will mean never getting it done!)?? It doesnt particularly hurt, just looks ugly.

Habbibu Mon 11-Aug-08 20:56:32

My mum did - think they ached a bit beforehand, but certainly weren't terrible. Doctor won't laugh at you (if they do, change doctor!)

Habbibu Mon 11-Aug-08 20:58:07

This from NHS direct: Treatment

Not everyone with varicose veins will require treatment for their condition. If you have no symptoms, and your varicose veins are not causing you any discomfort, then you do not necessarily need to have treatment. However, there are some instances when treatment may be necessary. These are outlined below.

* To ease symptoms - if your varicose veins are causing you pain or discomfort, you may want to consider treatment to help ease the symptoms.

* Complications - you may require treatment if your varicose veins cause you to develop complications, such as leg ulcers, swelling or skin discolouration. See the 'complications' section for more information about this.

* Cosmetic reasons - despite having no symptoms, some people want their varicose veins removed for cosmetic reasons. However, this kind of treatment is rarely available on the NHS, and you will normally have to pay for it to be carried out privately.

Cazwa Mon 11-Aug-08 21:17:35

Thanks, I had a look on NHS direct but must have missed that.

Will go and book an appointment.

ThingOne Mon 11-Aug-08 21:21:09

My 70 year old mum was told they had to be ulcerated before they would operate despite her being in pain every night. They finally relented but the waiting list was long. She was given a support stocking but it took ages to come.

Do make an appointment but don't expect miracles.

Heated Mon 11-Aug-08 21:22:07

I have one on my calf and from what I've been told they normally won't treat it unless its causing you physical discomfort/extreme itching and they get ulcerated etc. They also like to wait until you have definitely finished having children.

Will be interested to see how you get on.

maidamess Mon 11-Aug-08 21:23:56

Caz I will watch this with interest as pregnancy number three finished my (shapely) legs off once and for all.

I have blue bulgers, purple threaders and bruised patches.

I too have to forgo skirts of a certain length and mine do throb, especially if I've been on my feel for long periods of time. I hate how they have disfigured one of the best bits of me!

Let me know how you get on!

Cazwa Mon 11-Aug-08 21:37:45

I know, my legs were my best feature! They do throb most days but nothing overly serious that I feel I could hype up to the doc.

I have definitely finished having kids, 2 in less than 2 years has done it for me!

Cazwa Tue 12-Aug-08 20:07:55

Good news, I was at the doctors today for my son and I tagged the question on at the end. He said they do veins if they hurt or cause skin discolouration but not for cosmetic reasons. I said mine throbs and is getting worse quickly, so he said he would refer me and let them decide. Hurrah!

andyrobo237 Fri 05-Sep-08 22:03:19

I guess it is a postcode lottery. I am having mine done next week and I had been to the docs about them three times over 18 months before I was referred. Mine do hurt and throb a bit and do get itchy, but I did big it up to the Consultant. They do look bad as well which also helps! I went to the docs in April and saw Consultant in July - so timescales are good!

I will let you know how I recover!!

drinkmoretea Fri 05-Sep-08 22:13:34

hi, i am the same age as you and my legs also used to be one of my better features, i have half a dozen different patches of varicose veins on one leg and they started about seven years ago after having children, definately a postcode lottery as where i lived previously i was told that they wouldn't do anything until i had a leg ulcer (nice) my present doctor however referred me due to discomfort and skin changes ie varicose eczma. Firstly they tried the newer 'probe' treatment which took an hour of messing around before decing they couldn't do it as veins too badly damaged (not uncomfortable though) six months later i have had foam injections, these also appear not to have worked (Done about 6 weeks ago now) so will have to see what happens when i go for a follow app next month. very disappointed though as was looking forward to going out and buying a skirt. :-(

2littleterrors Sat 06-Sep-08 21:56:52

I must be one of the lucky ones then, I had varicose veins, had it with dd and then they got worse with ds. One thick lumpy vein running from my knee to my ankle, they didn't give me any trouble until about 9 months ago, when they started getting itchy and painful.
I then went to see my doctor about it in February who referred me to the consultant at Chelsea and Westminister Hosp, who saw me in March and I had my veins removed in May.
The whole procedure beginning to end was very quick and painless. My legs are now back to what they were before i had kids.
If I were you i'd definately go and make an appointment with your doctor. I remember the consultant saying to me that they prefer to remove the veins nowadays, so maybe they have changed they're policies. Or it could be a postcode lottery as some people suggested earlier.

2littleterrors Sat 06-Sep-08 21:58:28

By the way this was all done on the NHS

Milliways Sat 06-Sep-08 21:59:36

My Mum had hers done too - years ago when I was still at school!

Cazwa Wed 17-Sep-08 21:12:31

Just to update - I had my consultation on monday and Im getting them done in January! He did some tests and said one of the valves in a vein has stopped working, so they are going to make a cut at the top of my thigh and knee and whip it out! Im really chuffed. grin Not looking forward to the pain or the general anaesthetic but am pleased I should be able to wear skirts next summer.

Hurrah for the NHS!!

pointydog Wed 17-Sep-08 21:25:07

I think it depends o your local authority.

I got a vv op on the NHS very easily. My GP just referred me on, I hadn't even mentioned an op. Had to wait about a year in all.

kando Thu 18-Sep-08 09:54:30

You are lucky! Sadly for me, I have to pay to have mine done privately as they would only operate on the NHS if they were ulcerated. Mine do throb and get itchy sometimes but I'm just going to have to live with it! sad Hope your op goes well, and you will get a chance next summer to "get your legs out"!!

SpookyMadMummy Thu 18-Sep-08 10:20:06

I had varicose veins for 15 years. They started to hurt when I walked so I went to GP. I was referred immediately and had them removed within 3 months. That was 2 years ago and they haven't come back.
I think its pretty much a lottery with this op. I was lucky.
I am hoping they do not come back as I am pg again. Extra pressure on the vascular system and all that.

rzlty Thu 16-Oct-08 13:46:21

Bit late to this one but thought I'd add my experience. My varicose veins were unsightly but not threatening to my health. They gave me cramps in my calf and were uncomfortable if I was stood for a while. I was told I'd have to wait about a year for treatment on the NHS so I went private (under £500 in total I think).
It worked really well though the groin incision hurt like hell afterwards.
Then I got pregnant after having given up trying!
Now I have truly grim red mottled veins all the way down from my knee to my toes on the leg I had treated. So can't even wear long skirts!
Lesson here is do wait until you've had all your kids.
Lesson two, don't wait for the veins to appear, wear support tights & stockings from the get go when you're pregnant. You can even get toeless knee highs for summer from a US company called Brightlife.
Finally my reason for posting is that I have heard there are creams available to get rid of thread veins. Has anybody tried these?

yunabell Tue 12-Apr-11 21:28:28

hi im 23 years old and i have had 2 children within 13 months of each other and since my second pregnancy i have got varacus vains and they have really started to get me down, its that bad that i wont wear anything apart from pants and i wont get undressed infront of my partner. do u think id be able to get mine treated on the nhs or would i have to go private

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