What is microsclerotherapy?
Thread, spider or red thread veins of the legs are a common problem which mostly affects women. These small veins can form anywhere on the leg from the top of the thigh to the ankle. While these veins pose no major health problems, they can be unsightly. Microsclerotherapy is a procedure whereby a small amount of an irritant solution is injected into the thread veins in order to get rid of them. It is 60-80% effective and results cannot be guaranteed.
What causes thread veins?
The reason why some people are affected and others are not is unknown. There are though some predisposing factors. Heredity seems to play a part. Injury to the legs and long periods of standing are causative factors. In addition, more women than men seem to develop this condition as a result of pregnancy or hormones.
How does it work?
It works by irritating the lining of the vein walls. This damage triggers a healing process which over several weeks causes the veins to close and fade away. More than one treatment is generally needed, although most thread veins can be treated over a course of three to four sessions. For very extensive thread veins a maximum of six treatments could be necessary, but rarely more.
What does it involve?
A very fine needle is used to inject the solution. Research has shown that wearing compression hosiery following the procedure can help to optimise the results. Each treatment session can last 30-40 minutes.
Is it painful?
There is a little minor discomfort with a very slight burning sensation or irritation, but this soon disappears. It should not be enough to disturb sleep.
Most patients have no side effects, but some reported ones include:
Is it suitable for me?
This treatment is not suitable for everyone. Your practitioner will take a medical history and discuss the possible risks and complications with you prior to treatment. You may be referred to a vascular surgeon.
Is it safe?
This is a safe treatment but as with any other treatment, not entirely without risk.
Will they come back?
Thread veins may come back. It may seem that a previously injected vein has recurred, whereas in fact a new thread vein has appeared in the same area.
Pre – treatment advice
You may resume normal activities immediately. The aim of treatment is to encourage the veins to close.
We would like to see you in two to four weeks for a check-up.