The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Cyanoacrylate glue occlusion for varicose veins, in June 2015.
Varicose veins are a sign of underlying venous insufficiency and affect 20–30% of adults. Most people with varicose veins have no symptoms, but venous insufficiency may cause fatigue, heaviness, aching, throbbing, itching and cramps in the legs. Chronic venous insufficiency can lead to skin discoloration, inflammatory dermatitis and ulceration. Great saphenous vein insufficiency is the most common form of venous insufficiency in people presenting with symptoms.
Many people have varicose veins that do not cause any symptoms or need treatment on medical grounds. However, some people will need treatment for the relief of symptoms or if there is evidence of skin discolouration, inflammation or ulceration. Treatment options include endothermal ablation, ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, and surgery (usually stripping and ligation of the great and small saphenous veins, and phlebectomies).
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.