Veins and Sclerotherapy (Injections)
Treatment of Thread Veins by Sclerotherapy
is a technique used for the removal of surface
and spider veins. It involves injections with
a very fine needle of a sclerosing agent which
has an irritant effect on the lining of the veins
causing the walls of the veins to stick together.
Blood stops flowing through the veins, which are
then absorbed by the body's natural defence mechanisms
over a period of three months. The blood is then
directed back to the deeper venous system.
procedures are carried out by specialist nurses
under the supervision of experienced vascular
surgeons who are ultimately responsible for the
can last anything from two weeks to three months
depending on the size of the blood vessels treated.
Due to bruising following injections the treated
areas can look worse before they improve and it
is necessary to be patient to obtain a good result.
Occasionally thicker bruises in larger veins,
which can remain for several months, may cause
brown discolouration of the skin. This could take
up to a year to fade. High compression stockings
are worn for up to three days to help reduce the
amount of bruising. It is usually advisable to
leave a two week period between treatments on
the same area to allow bruising to settle.
areas are more susceptible to swelling, particularly
the ankle and knee areas. It is also possible
for some larger veins to develop a small degree
of thrombophlebitis were the vessel can feel hard,
warm and a little sore. These symptoms resolve
spontaneously and only simple analgesia may be
required. Larger veins may require strong compression
for a little longer to help minimise this problem..
percent of vessels treated at any one session
usually disappear. At least eighty percent of
all vessels treated during the course of microsclerotherapy
can be expected to be eradicated. Unfortunately
there are always a few exceptions.
is possible to drive immediately after a treatment
and a brisk walk of 20 minutes is beneficial.
Normal exercise can be resumed after 24 hours,
including swimming. Air travel may be undertaken
straight away but it is advisable to drink plenty
of water and to wear class 11 compression stockings
on journeys over six hours. As a general rule
standing still should be avoided and feet kept
elevated whilst sitting.
find that over time a few more thread veins may
appear and it is common for an annual or bi-annual
veins, or dermal flares, are very fine dilated
veins situated just beneath the surface of the
skin. Heredity, as with larger varicose veins
, is an influencing factor as are hormonal surges
as at the onset of periods and during pregnancy.
In some patients they are associated with varicose
veins but in other people they occur without any
problems associated with their deeper veins. It
is essential that patients with dermal flares
undergo a venous assessment to make sure that
there is no underlying condition causing them.
Treating surface veins in the presence of varicose
veins, even though they are not visible, results
in them not disappearing or returning quickly
giving an unsatisfactory result.
to severe pain can be associated with dermal flares
as well as fatigue, aching and throbbing. This
can quite often be cyclical in women and related
to their periods. Such symptoms that present with
larger varicose veins do not always disappear
following surgery but do diminish with subsequent
sclerotherapy treatment for thread veins. The
best form of treatment for these small veins is
microsclerotherapy. Some doctors use lasers to
treat thread veins, but experts in vein problems
find that these are not very effective in comparison
to injection treatment.
promoting creams and other methods of treating
thread veins often appear in the press. Scientific
evidence shows that these do not work at all!
All these treatments! Which is the one for
Philip Coleridge Smith DM FRCS
Reader in Surgery, UCL Medical School, London .
Consultant Vascular Surgeon – BVI Medical
The West London Vein Clinic: Tel 0870 609 2389