If you have varicose veins and they do not cause you any discomfort, you may not need to visit a GP.

Varicose veins are rarely a serious condition and they do not usually require treatment.

But speak to a GP if:

Speak immediately to a GP or call 111 if your varicose veins start bleeding. You may need urgent treatment.

Seeing a GP

Varicose veins are diagnosed by their appearance. The GP will examine your legs while you're standing to check for signs of swelling.

You may also be asked to describe any pain you have and whether there are situations that make your varicose veins worse.

For example, some women find their menstrual cycle (period) affects their varicose veins.

The GP will also want to know if you're at an increased risk of developing varicose veins, such as:

Further investigation

The GP may refer you to a vascular specialist (a doctor who specialises in veins) if you have any of the following:

In most cases, a test called a duplex ultrasound scan will be carried out. This is a type of scan that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture of the veins in your legs.

The picture shows the blood flow and helps the vascular specialist locate any damaged valves that might be causing your varicose veins.

Page last reviewed: 1 August 2019
Next review due: 1 August 2019