Leg Vein Removal

Varicose Vein & Spider Vein Treatment

Hiding your spider veins under clothing is a daily and often upsetting inconvenience. If you are tired of not being able to enjoy life your way, especially in summer, talk to our friendly doctors, and make a start on saying goodbye to varicose and spider veins!

What are Varicose and Spider Veins?

Enlarged veins and small capillaries on the legs are a very common cosmetic problem, affecting about 50% of people aged 50 and over. More common in women, they often arise during or after pregnancy and are more common in people who spend a lot of time standing.

Varicose veins are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. They may be raised above the skin surface and may be associated with some aching.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are smaller, red, purple, and blue vessels that are easily visible through the skin, they typically have a red (telangiectasia ) or bluish (venules) colour and occur on the legs and face. Unfortunately these veins are often unsightly and attempting to conceal them with clothing or cosmetics are not always successful, in many cases people change their lifestyle to avoid exposing their legs.

Varicose and spider veins are more common in women, and often arise during or after pregnancy. They are also more common in people who spend a lot of time standing.

Leg Veins

What treatments are available?

Laser can effectively treat the smaller (red to purple) spider veins, whilst sclerotherapy is useful for the larger (purple to blue) varicose veins. Often a combination of the two is used.Sometimes assessment of the venous circulation in the legs is important for planning effective treatments. Doppler Ultrasound assessment can assess the presence of incompetent valves in the circulation where backflow occurs and varicose veins develop. In cases of significant varicose veins, our doctors will often recommend assessment by a vascular surgeon, or radiologist (endovenous laser is an alternative to stripping operations).

How does laser vein treatment work?

The Cynergy Pulsed Dye and YAG Laser works by targeting these vessels and causing them to shrink over a period of 4 – 6 weeks after treatment. The use of a special cooling tip on the handpiece minimises any discomfort and also helps to protect the skin. It is most effective when vessels are 1 to 1.5 mm in diameter. Multiple treatments will generally be required before end results are achieved. Treatment is quick and a large number of veins can be treated in a session of between 15 and 60 minutes. Immediately afterwards the area becomes red with some minor swelling.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy involves a series of tiny injections of a solution (fibrosing agent – aethoxysklerol or polydocanol) designed to irritate and then close off the offending vessels. The veins turn white whilst the solution is being injected and then appear red and swollen several minutes after as the solution irritates the vessel wall. This is repeated until all the troublesome veins have been injected.

Most leg veins require multiple treatments but it is important to understand that complete disappearance of all vessels is rare.

If there is a family history of DVT, please read below FAQS.

What are the benefits?

Treatments are great for superficial veins, spider veins, broken capillaries, small varicose veins.


Areas treated include legs, thighs, calves, ankles.

Benefits include:

Less Pain

If your varicose veins cause discomfort, having them treated can eliminate that pain.

Self confidence 

Having your varicose veins treated means you can get back to wearing whatever you want without having to worry about using a concealer when wearing shorts or dresses.

Increased mobility 

Often, varicose veins cause swelling that interferes with normal movement, so many people who would otherwise be active become less mobile due to their varicose veins. Having veins treated can get rid of the source of the swelling that’s causing your diminished mobility and allow you to get back to what you liked to do before your varicose veins interfered with your lifestyle.

Post Care

What should I expect after the treatment?

After Sclerotherapy there is usually some redness and swelling along the course of the treated veins. This may persist for some days to weeks, depending upon the size of the treated veins.
Bruising and minor discomfort can occasionally occur.

Vigorous exercise should be avoided for one week after treatment, although daily walking is encouraged. You cannot fly or drive long distances for 10 days after treatment.

You will usually need to wear support stockings / bandages for 3 – 5 days (only remove after showering). Bandaging may not be essential in every case.

When the bandage is no longer required, you can continue to wear for comfort if desired.

Sclerotherapy results in a gradual improvement in the appearance of visible vessels over a period of weeks after treatment. Several treatments may be required to get the best results, but you will usually see an improvement after the first treatment.

Not all people respond to sclerotherapy though, and non-response or recurrence occurs in a proportion of cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Sclerotherapy and DVT

    If there is a family history of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), blood tests may be ordered to exclude a familial blood clotting disorder prior to treatment (over 5% of the population have some inherited or acquired blood clotting disorder). Sometimes there is significant backflow from the deep to the superficial leg veins. This occurs from incompetent or leaking valves in the veins. In some cases our doctors will order a doppler ultrasound examination of your legs to clarify if this is present, as other therapy such as vein stripping or endovenous laser treatment may be needed to achieve good results. Some conditions are a contra-indication to sclerotherapy. A previous DVT is an important contra-indication, as are a medical history of auto-immune disease or significant other illness.

  • What causes blood vessels to become visible?

    The cause is not known, except that in many cases they run in families. More women than men seem to develop this condition perhaps as a result of pregnancy or because of hormones. Trauma to the leg in the form of blows or falls may contribute and long periods of standing or sitting may also be causative factors.

  • How can spider veins & varicose veins be prevented?

    There is no proven method of prevention. The use of support stockings, weight control, and regular exercise may be beneficial.

  • What are the risks of laser?

    These are as follows:

    • Skin discolouration. This is where the skin may become lighter or darker in colour along the line of the treated veins. This is generally temporary.
    • No improvement. A small number of patients find no improvement occurs.
    • Scarring. This is not common.
    • New vein formation. This is where tiny new veins form to replace the treated vessel and is uncommon.
    Find out more about the Risks and Effects of Laser Treatment.Note - IPL should not be used on spider vessels - IPL is ineffective on spider vessels, and should not be used due to significant risks of burns or hyperpigmentation on the legs.

  • What are the risks of sclerotherapy?

    These are as follows:

    • Bruises
    • No improvement. A small number of patients find no improvement occurs.
    • Skin discolouration – brown discoloration which usually disappears over time, but in 5% can persist for years. Laser may improve this.
    • Blisters due to small amounts of solution seeping into the tissues - heal quickly.
    • Lumps within the vessels - small clots, not dangerous. Will disappear spontaneously.
    • Swelling - especially in patients whose jobs require standing or sitting for long periods of time. More likely to occur when ankle or lower legs are injected. Helped with elevation and compression stockings.
    • Inflammation (phlebitis) may occur with larger vessels.
    • Matting - the development of new fine vessels near sites of injection, especially on the thigh. Most will resolve, but in a few these may become permanent.
    • Ulcers at injection sites.
    • Allergic reactions - very rare.
    • Thrombosis (DVT) in vulnerable individuals. Sclerotherapy should not be done in individuals who have a clotting disorder or who have had a DVT in the past, or in pregnancy.

  • Rediscover yourself, book a complimentary consultation today.