Thread veins, or sometimes referred to as spider veins, are small twisted red blood vessels that run closely to the surface of the skin. This makes them highly visible and their appearance can cause embarrassment or decreased self-esteem. Thread veins normally appear on thighs and ankles and can be blue or red. They are common in both men and women of all skin types and ages, but they are most common in women, affecting nearly 50% of all women over 40.
As they can be a cause of embarrassment and distress, many people choose to have thread vein removal. This process involved a quick and efficient procedure known as sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is no longer available under many NHS services as it is regarded as cosmetic surgery and is viewed as a “procedure of Limited Clinical Value” by the NHS. However, you can choose to have sclerotherapy through a private clinic.
If you feel that thread vein removal would be of value to you and would like to be seen quickly, then you can find the next available slot and arrange a consultation below.
Rather than using laser treatment to reduce the appearance of thread veins which uses intense pulsed lights, we use sclerotherapy. Laser treatment is more painful and treatments, especially over bigger areas, take much longer.
Sclerotherapy treats blood vessels or blood vessel malformations by injecting a non-toxic liquid or foam, called sclerosant, into the vessels to make them shrink. The blood in the treated area will still flow normally but the appearance of red veins hitting the surface of the skin is reduced drastically.
The injection itself is not painful, although you may feel slight localised discomfort or an ache for up to a few days when larger areas are being targeted. You won’t need any anaesthetic and normally there are no unusual sensations in the treated area after the procedure.
Sclerotherapy is often the best choice for the treatment of superficial spider veins on the legs and hands. This is because it’s generally less expensive, faster, and more effective than laser treatment.
After treatment, patients may experience some itching or burning at the site. This normally goes away within a few days and is nothing to be concerned about.
There is no downtime after sclerotherapy, but strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least five days. As the procedure only takes around 40 minutes, you are welcome to return to normal activities as soon as your procedure is complete.
A compression garment is usually worn for about 7-10 days following the treatment to help with healing.
Although most patients notice a gradual decline in symptoms and appearance of thread veins within the first week of treatment, final results can take up to 12 weeks.
Throughout your thread vein removal treatment, you will experience a range of psychological and physical benefits. The most common benefits are:
As with any medical intervention, there are some risks involved in the treatment, but these are rare and your consultant will be able to talk you through any risks involved in your specific case. The main risk sclerotherapy carries is infection, but this applies to any procedure where the skin is penetrated and is highly unlikely.
Booking a consultation with our vascular surgeon is straightforward, if you wish to book your consultation online then please use our online booking portal below. Alternatively, simply email your enquiry [email protected], call our reception team on 0333 9000 010 or complete our contact form.
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