Leg Vein Treatments at dermalclinic® Edinburgh.
Leg veins and thread veins affect approximately 50% of the population at some point in their life. In most cases there is a family history so the cause is likely to be genetic. Women in particular are affected by thread and varicose veins and their appearance can be quite distressing. The good news is that although unsightly they are unlikely to cause symptoms or medical problems.
There are two treatment options available for patients at dermalclinic®
At your consultation Mr Raza (Consultant Vascular Surgeon) will discuss the various options with you. In some cases, sclerotherapy isn’t suitable and you may require a surgical treatment instead. If you do require surgery this can be arranged for you.
A medication called Polidocanol is injected as a solution directly into the vein. Foamsclerotherapy is usually chosen instead of Microsclerotherapy if the vein being treated is larger. Foamsclerotherapy is a combination of small amounts of Polidocanol rapidly mixed with air, to develop the ‘foam’. A larger vein which would not be suitably treated with Microsclerotherapy can now be treated with foam. This treatment causes intense spasm in the vein and a larger volume can be injected without the need for higher levels of medication. Foamsclerotherapy is performed under ultrasound guidance along with the advanced skills of Vascular Surgeon Mr Raza.
Using ultrasound, the main surface veins will be identified and a small dose of local anaesthetic will be injected into this area to keep you comfortable. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, small canulas (butterfly needles) will be inserted and flushed with a salt solution containing heparin (blood thinning agent), to prevent clotting. Your leg will then be elevated above the couch and very small amounts of foam will be injected through these canulas. You might experience some slight stinging as the foam is injected, but this is not normally painful. As the foam travels along the vein, this will be monitored with the ultrasound. This procedure will be repeated 2-3 times. Compression stocking will be applied straight after the treatment and these should be worn for 5 days continually and then for a further 7 days during the day only. Full written and verbal aftercare guidelines will be given, and these include taking a brisk 30 minute walk straight after the treatment.
It is unlikely that Foamsclerotherapy will completely resolve your condition after only one session and you should expect to have a treatment plan. This plan will be discussed with you by Mr Raza.
Most patients will experience some hard lumps (thrombophlebitis) where the treatment had taken place. This is due to blood clotting inside the veins and this should disappear but this could take weeks or even months. Mr Raza might decide to speed up this process by inserting a small needle to help remove these clots.
Brown pigmentation on the skin can occur following thrombophlebitis (as above) and it can be permanent. Most patients notice that this fades after a few months.
Microsclerotherapy is a treatment for small thread veins and leg veins using very tiny needles. A sclerosant solution is injected very superficially into the ineffective veins. This sclerosant makes the lining of the veins sticky and swollen, the vein wall then sticks together, making that treated vein close up and heal. Immediately after the injections are performed, compression hosiery is applied to ensure that the vein closes up and that gravity pull on the blood flow is encouraged back up the legs in a normal manor.
Some people find the procedure a little bit ‘nippy’ as the tiny superficial injections allow the sclerosant fluid into the vein yet many other patients don’t feel a thing!
After the treatment you will notice little raised areas which look a bit like insect bites. This is very normal. Once the compression hosiery is removed it is very normal for the treated area to appear bruised and look slightly worse than pre treatment. This is normal.
It can take up to 10 weeks for the veins to look as they did pre treatment and after approx 16 weeks the veins will start to look much better.
Full treatment benefits will be noticed at 12 weeks after the procedure.
Full written and verbal aftercare guidelines will be given, and these include taking a brisk 10 minute walk straight after the treatment. Thereafter you are encouraged to wear your bespoke compression hosiery for 24 hours (day and night) for two days and thereafter for two weeks during the day only.
The compression hosiery will give a firm support around the ankle area especially. This is important to encourage the blood in you legs to pump effectively back towards you heart and then off to other areas of the body. Waxing must be avoided for four weeks after treatment. High impact exercise should be avoided for two weeks. Do not take very hot baths or showers immediately after your Microsclerotherapy or Foamsclerotherapy treatment at dermalclinic®.