Unsightly veins, whether they are tiny thread veins or big, bumpy varicose veins, can have a damaging impact on a person’s self-confidence and their health.
Veins: Am I suitable?
Many people think that thread veins and varicose veins are different problems, with one being purely cosmetic and the other medical. However, the two conditions often coexist.
As well as being very unsightly, veins can cause symptoms such as aching, congestion, itching and swelling and these can all be cured by treating the underlying veins.
Veins: What’s the treatment like?
It is crucial that you treat veins in the right sequence, as you have to treat the varicose veins first before focusing on the thread veins. There are a number of different procedures and your practitioner will be able to advise you on what is the best one for you. The one thing to be aware of is that these vein problems are usually reoccurring so this may not be a permanent solution.
ClariVein; ClariVein works by disrupting the lining of the vein and then using a drug to close it off. There are greatly reduced pain levels, bruising and discomfort, both during and after, with this vein treatment compared to laser or radiofrequency treatments. This is a relatively new procedure so there are no long-term studies into its effectiveness but in the short term it produces similar results to laser and radiofrequency vein treatments.
EVLT (Endovenous Laser Therapy); minimally invasive alternative to the surgical stripping of varicose veins. It is suitable for about seven out of ten patients and your practitioner will do a scan to assess you for suitability. It is usually done under a local anaesthetic and promises a quicker return to normal activities than the surgical option. A laser fibre is threaded into the treatment area, which has been treated with a local anaesthetic to numb the pain, and then the laser fibre is activated and obliterates the whole length of the varicose vein. This is a very effective treatment.
Sclerotherapy; a painless and very safe treatment where the varicose veins and thread veins are injected with a solution into the vein which causes it to collapse and be reabsorbed by the body.
VNUS closure; the varicose veins are heated and closed using radiofrequency energy. Usually performed under local anaesthetic, your surgeon will use an ultrasound to mark the length of the varicose vein and then a special catheter is inserted into the vein through a small incision and radiofrequency energy is delivered into the vein. A compression garment should be worn for about seven to ten days following the procedure but normal activities can be resumed within a day.
Varicose vein surgery; performed under a general anaesthetic, this operation can take anything from 20 minutes to two and a half hours depending on the extent of the problem. Your surgeon may disconnect the superficial veins from the deep veins first and then will probably make many small cuts along the length of the varicose veins before removing them or it can be ‘stripped out’ using a special instrument. As well as the general complications of any surgical operation, this procedure may also cause damage to the nerves, swelling of the leg or the possibility of developing a lump under the wound. Return to full normal activities can take up to four weeks. Veinwave; has been developed to treat the smaller thread and spider veins. It eliminates the veins through a process called thermo-coagulation. Using high frequency microwaves, an ultra-fine insulated needle heats the vessels and destroys the vein. The surrounding skin and tissue is protected as this is such an accurate treatment so there is no risk of bruising or scarring.