Leg vein treatment, at BrightNewMe
Over 80% of adults suffer from leg thread veins (also known as spider veins), and in women this figure rises to 88%. They can be unsightly, and often cause significant cosmetic concern, limiting a patient’s clothing and activities.
There are a variety of ways to treat thread veins, including IPL, laser light therapy and electrolysis. There are also a large number of tablets and creams on the market for leg vein treatment, but these all lack proper scientific evidence to support them. The technique which I offer at BrightNewMe is of a combination of micro-sclerotherapy (for veins up to 3 mm in diameter) and thermo-coagulation (for the very finest veins).
Microsclerotherapy is the name given to the process of injecting a solution (known as a sclerosant), via a very fine needle, directly into the vein. The sclerosant causes inflammation and irritation to the walls of the vein, which then stick together. This blocks the flow of blood through the vein, such that the vein gradually dies and is ultimately reabsorbed by the body. Microsclerotherapy is generally considered to be superior to laser type techniques, as laser will only treat the visible parts of the veins. The majority of leg thread veins have been shown to have feeding veins associated with them hidden under the skin which can be treated successfully with micro-sclerotherapy injections. This treatment also has the advantage of being able to treat a reasonable area at a time.
The needles I use for microsclerotherapy are extremely small and as such can be used on veins thinner than the width of a paper clip. Finer veins may respond to microsclerotherapy injections if the ‘feeder vein’ is injected.
Very fine veins can be also treated with thermo-coagulation, as detailed here. Clearing the finer veins first, using thermo-coagulation, can be advantageous because it may reduce the risk of ‘matting’ – the appearance of a network of new, fine vessels.
The cause of matting is uncertain but it may occur when blood becomes trapped in the finest veins, because larger veins that would otherwise carry the blood away have been closed.
When treating thread veins I use a highly specialised head set, which has a very strong cross-polarised light and magnifyer (pictured right) and enables me to see beneath the surface of the skin for maximum accuracy of injection.
If you have any varicose veins these should be treated first, and failure to do so can lead to lack of success of leg thread vein treatment (and potentially worsening of thread veins). 15% to 20% of all adults have varicose veins, and about the same number of patients also have hidden varicose veins of which they unaware. The possibility of underlying varicose veins being present will be addressed prior to any treatment for leg thread veins at BrightNewMe.
At BrightNewMe all leg vein treatments are undertaken by myself, Dr Sarah Norman. I am delighted to be a member of the British Association of Sclerotherapists.
If you would like more detailed information about the treatment of leg thread veins/ microsclerotherapy, including costs of the initial appointment/treatment, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Although we have a dedicated page for general client testimonials, below you will see a selection of comments from patients I have treated with leg veins. Click on the extract to see the comments in full.