M.S. F.R.C.S.
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Thread & Spider Veins:

Thread veins, sometimes known as spider veins, are very fine veins close to the surface of the skin. These veins are unsightly and can also cause aching of the legs in some patients. They are usually the result of a familial predisposition and can manifest from resolving bruises.

Thread veins are treated using a variety of techniques.

  • The most useful method for the vast majority of thread veins is called micro-sclerotherapy.
  • With very fine clusters of veins, a process using thermo-coagulation is also successful (Veinwave®).
Spider Veins

Generally, patients need a combination of techniques for the most effective results. Micro-sclerotherapy and radio-frequency ablation is carried out by a properly trained specialist nurse.

Depending on how extensive your thread veins are, you may need more than one session of treatment. The sessions usually last 20-30 minutes and take place every 2-3 weeks.

Despite the Americanisms, you may find this Medline® link useful in understanding more about veins.

Thread Veins - Micro-sclerotherapy:


Micro-sclerotherapy involves an injection of solution through a very fine needle into the vein. The solution damages the vein causing it to be removed by the body's own defence mechanisms over a period of a few weeks.

A very fine needle is used to inject the solution and a number of injections are undertaken over the course of the session. The vein that has been injected immediately 'vanishes'. Over a period of a few hours the vein then is again visible and may take a few weeks to disappear entirely.

Further sessions are then undertaken at fortnightly intervals until all the veins have been treated. It is uncommon to require more than 3 to 5 sessions.