Microsclerotherapy for Thread Veins
Microsclerotherapy treatment of thread veins
Microsclerotherapy is a technique used for the removal of surface and spider veins. It involves injections with a very fine needle of a sclerosing drug which irritates the lining of the veins causing the walls to stick together. Blood stops flowing through the veins, which are then absorbed by the body over a period of a few weeks. The blood is directed back to the deeper veins. The treatment is carried out by specialist nurses under the supervision of experienced vascular surgeons who are responsible for the treatments.
Bruising can last anything from two weeks to three months depending on the size of the blood vessels treated. The treated areas can look worse before they improve as a result of the bruising. With patience a good result is achieved. Occasionally thicker bruises occur in larger veins, which can remain for several months. These may cause brown discolouration of the skin. This could take up to a year to fade in a few cases. High compression stockings are worn for up to three days to help reduce the amount of bruising. It is best to leave a two week period between treatments on the same area to allow bruising to settle. Certain areas are more susceptible to swelling, particularly at the ankle and knee. It is also possible for some larger veins to become inflamed and the vessel can feel hard, warm and a little sore. These symptoms resolve quickly.
Simple analgesia may be required. Larger veins may require strong compression for a little longer to help minimise this problem. 60 – 70% percent of veins treated at any one session usually disappear. Most or all vessels treated during the course of microsclerotherapy will be removed. However, the rate of reponse differs between patients. The number of treatments and time taken to get to the final outcome are difficult to predict in advance. It is possible to drive immediately after a treatment. 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 2 medical compression stockings on journeys over four hours. As a general rule standing still should be avoided and feet kept elevated whilst sitting. Patients find that over time a few more thread veins may appear and it is common for an annual or bi-annual tidy-up visit.
General information about thread veins
Thread veins, or dermal flares, are very fine dilated veins lying just beneath the surface of the skin. Heredity has a strong influence in causing them. Hormonal surges as at the onset of periods and during pregnancy also make thread veins appear. In some patients thread veins are caused by varicose veins but in other people they occur without any other vein problem. It is essential that patients with thread veins undergo a venous assessment to make sure that there is no underlying condition causing them. Treating surface veins caused by varicose veins, even though they are not visible, results in a poor result from treatment or rapid return of thread veins. This leads to a poor result.
Mild to severe pain can be associated with thread veins as well as fatigue, aching and throbbing. Restless legs can also occur. This can quite often be cyclical in women and related to their periods. These symptoms which also occur with larger varicose veins do not always disappear following surgery. They are usually relieved by injection 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. Laser treatment is sometimes advised for these veins. This works in very small veins but in larger veins injection treatment is more effective. Advertisements promoting creams and other methods of treating thread veins often appear in the press. Scientific evidence shows that these do not work at all!