Mr Omar Tillo
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Leg thread veins, also known as spider veins, are blood vessels at the surface of the skin that look like a multitude of pink-purple lines. The veins are not damaged or broken but simply enlarged. Most of the people get thread veins due to getting old. Removing them has visible aesthetic benefits and if untreated it will eventually result in their enlargement and number increasing.
Skin problems often make patients be self-conscious and hide the affected areas. The main benefit of thread veins removal would be the improvement of the aspect of skin.
It is highly required to make the difference between thread veins and varicose veins. Thread veins are under the skin and do not present any kind of swelling. Varicose veins represent enlarged veins that pop up under the skin and they often occur in legs and feet area. The treatment for such vein enlargement is different. If you are not sure what the issue with the veins is, it is better to consult a doctor’s opinion just to make sure you are interested in the right procedure.
Leg thread veins are removed with a procedure known as injection sclerotherapy.
You will be an eligible candidate for leg thread veins if you have spider veins which you are wishing to remove.
Centre for Surgery only offers this procedure to those who are 18 years or older.
You will be unable to have this procedure if you are currently pregnant. You may not be eligible if you have had previous problems with blood clots.
Prior to undergoing surgery, your surgeon will assess your leg thread veins to see if you are eligible for injection sclerotherapy.
Prior to any surgery, you will have a consultation with the surgeon. If any medication is taken, it is important to let the doctor know in case there might be side effects that occur with the procedure. The consultation will include an examination of the affected area to determine if the removal method is appropriate or not for the type of vein problem that might exist. The patient will be thoroughly informed about each step of the procedure. If you have any questions regarding the procedure, make sure to ask them during the consultation. The doctor will be able to discuss any questions about the results and recovery period.
Injection sclerotherapy involves using a solution which is injected directly into the veins. This causes the lining of the blood vessels to become irritated and collapse or stick together. This results in a blood clot which blocks blood circulating to the vein. The vein will then turn to scar tissue and will no longer be visible.
While the veins are being injected, you may experience mild pain and discomfort, particularly if a larger vein is injected. This will only last one to two minutes.
The number of injections required will vary from person to person and will depend on how the size and location of the veins. You may require multiple injection sessions.
As this is considered a non-surgical procedure, there is very little recovery time.
However, there are certain requirements patients must adhere to for several weeks to prevent thread veins from reappearing. You will have to ensure you wear compression tights at day and night for at least two weeks. This will help to keep your skin compressed and help to avoid the thread veins reappearing.
For the first 48 hours, you will have to avoid taking anti-inflammatory medication. You will also have to avoid excess sun and heat exposure.
While you will be able to drive yourself home, you should avoid strenuous physical exercise. However, you will be encouraged to walk in order to avoid stiffness of the legs.
There are some side effects that can occur after the procedure is done. Following the doctor’s advice is paramount in such situations. Some of the main side effects that a patient can encounter include:
No. The only thing the patient will feel is discomfort in the area and a little bit of pressure due to the use of small needles. The solution injected in the veins is mixed with a local anaesthetic and this way the affected area will be numb. Several hours before the procedure, the patient might be advised to take specific medication for avoiding pain of any kind.
The removal of thread veins is an easy procedure no matter the variant the patient is choosing. It takes from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the affected area. Although it may sound too long, it is not. Thread veins removal is a precise procedure which requires attention and patience.
For completely removing thread veins up to three sessions are necessary. The doctor may assign the sessions to each patient according to their needs. The treatments should be done at 10 weekly intervals.
There is a possibility for thread veins to reappear, especially if the post-procedure recommendations are not being followed.