Sclerotherapy is a safe and well-established treatment to successfully remove thread veins on legs.
What does the treatment involve?
How many treatments will I need?
That depends on how many thread veins you have and how treatment goes. Most patients will have between 2 and 4 treatments, each lasting about 20 minutes. The thing that limits treatment is the dose of the sclerosant drug we are allowed to use at any one time. We usually see patients every week or two until all the veins have been injected.
How much does sclerotherapy cost?
Sclerotherapy costs £400 per session, so the total cost will depend on how many times you need to come and see us – this can be reduced if you need a number of sessions. We can give you a pretty accurate estimate when we see you the first time as we have a lot of experience of this procedure.
Will it hurt?
No! The injections are made using a very tiny needle and most patients barely feel it. A lot of patients say that the nearest comparison is to acupuncture. Sometimes it feels a bit itchy immediately after treatment and a bit tender for a day or two after, so some patients need to use anti – inflammatory cream.
What aftercare do I need to consider?
You can do pretty much anything after treatment, although as you will have a bandage on, going to the gym is impractical and you will need to avoid showering for a few days while the bandage is on. It is a very simple “lunch time treatment.”
What are the risks?
Fortunately there are very few risks from sclerotherapy. There is a theoretical risk of a deep vein thrombosis but we have personally never seen this. About 1 in 10,000 patients are allergic to the chemical we use. Occasionally some patients get little blisters on the skin after the injections which can scab over like a tiny sore before healing up.
The worst thing is usually the bruising afterwards – this lasts for 2 or 3 months on average and can last longer. For this reason we recommend that patients don’t have sclerotherapy immediately before holidays for example. A lot of patients like to have sclerotherapy in the autumn or winter time so that when the summer comes their bruises have all faded.
In very rare cases some patients can develop really tiny red thread veins after sclerotherapy. This is called ‘telangectatic matting’. This is really rare.
How can I make the bruises go away?
We recommend use of Arnica cream and oral Arnica and Vitamin E Oil on the bruises as well.
What is the chemical you use?
There are several drugs that can be used for sclerotherapy. We use a drug called Fibro vein – its chemical name is Sodium Tetradecyl. This is the commonest drug used in the UK for treatment of thread veins and is fully licenced for this use.
Fibrovein is actually a detergent by its chemical nature. The drug acts by damaging the inside lining of the vein and makes it seal up. Fibrovein is deactivated by contact with proteins in the blood, so we need to make a few injections along the vein in oder to be sure that it will work properly
Can my thread veins come back again?
Sadly yes they can – you will continue to make thread veins throughout your life. However, they usually come back slowly, so most of our patients will come back to see us every 18 months or so to keep on top of things.
Are there any other ways of treating thread veins?
Yes – some doctors use skin lasers or light treatments for thread veins. We have used some of these techniques in the past but found that for most thread veins, sclerotherapy is the best option.
The exception is really tiny red veins that we cant get a needle into. For these veins, short wave diathermy is suitable and is offered also at Aesthetics of Liverpool.