This National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline covers diagnosing and managing varicose veins in people aged 18 and over. It aims to ensure that people understand the options for treating varicose veins and that healthcare professionals know when to refer people for specialist assessment and treatment.
Refer people to a vascular service if they have any of the following:
In some people varicose veins are asymptomatic or cause only mild symptoms, but in others they cause pain, aching or itching and can have a significant effect on their quality of life.
Varicose veins may become more severe over time and can lead to complications such as:
It is not known which people will develop more severe disease but it is estimated that 3–6% of people who have varicose veins in their lifetime will develop venous ulcers.
There is no definitive system for identifying which people will benefit the most from interventional treatment and no established framework within the NHS for the diagnosis and management of varicose veins. This has resulted in wide regional variations in the management of varicose veins in the UK.
This guideline was developed with the aim of giving healthcare professionals guidance on the diagnosis and management of varicose veins in the legs, in order to improve patient care and minimise disparities in care across the UK.
You can read the guideline on NICE's website.