PriceDilated blood vessels, also called thread veins or spider veins, have a red or blue or purple colour and appear on the surface of the body, particularly the legs. These vessels can be unsightly and can produce a dull aching of the legs after prolonged standing. They can be treated by injection of a solution that will cause them to disappear, or at least become much smaller.
The cause is not known, except that in many cases they seem to run in families. Surface veins occur in both men and women, but much more frequently in women. The hormone oestrogen may play a role in their development. They may also occur after a blow to a certain area of the body or as a result of wearing tight girdles or hosiery held up by tight bands.
There may be a possibility that larger varicose veins are “feeding” the smaller thread veins. If this is the case, you will be advised to seek a surgical opinion before treatment can commence.
Sclerotherapy can be used to treat these blood vessels, in which a solution called a sclerosant is injected, using a very fine needle, directly into the blood vessel. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. Some vessels will fade from view, eventually becoming barely or not at all visible.
Most people will require multiple treatments, with most vessels responding within 3-4 sessions. There can be an overall improvement of 60-80 % following treatment.
Side-effects include skin markings, localised swellings, redness, bruising, itching and tenderness. Occasionally a darkening of the skin occurs which may take up to 12 months to resolve. Most of the side effects are minor, and confined to the area which has been treated.
After treatment we recommend patients to wear support tights for 2 weeks. We also recommend not exercising for at least 2 weeks.
It is important to realize however that this treatment does not prevent new veins from emerging in the future and as time passes by, it may be necessary for touch-up treatments when new leg veins surface.