Having trained as a vascular surgeon specialising in the treatments of veins, Professor MacKenzie is ideally suited to carry out this procedure, called microsclerotherapy. Please note Prof MacKenzie does NOT inject veins on the face, these are best treated with IPL or laser.

What are thread veins?

Thread veins are visible small veins, less than 2mm in diameter. Thread veins on the legs most commonly occur in women, people with varicose veins or a family history of leg veins, those in standing jobs and after having children. They can appear after trauma to the legs or surgery for varicose veins. They are often seen after radiotherapy elsewhere on the body, e.g. the breast area.

What is microsclerotherapy and how does it work?

We use a weak solution of a type of sterile detergent. This is injected directly into the veins using a tiny needle. The solution inflames the lining of the vein making the lining “sticky”, so that the vein closes and is much smaller or no longer visible.

What happens on the day of treatment?

You will have been fully assessed by Professor MacKenzie at a previous consultation who will examine your legs and answer any questions you may have. Multiple tiny injections into the veins are performed. A firm stocking (supplied by the clinic) needs to be worn for several weeks after the procedure, depending on the size of your veins and your occupation.

What is the outcome?

The aim is to improve rather than to perfect. Most of the veins treated will disappear over the next four to six weeks. There will be some bruising and there is a chance of brown staining of the skin over the treated areas. Most thread veins will come back at some point in the future, usually years after treatment.

Can this be used on larger veins?

A higher concentration can be used on larger veins, which is called sclerotherapy. It may also be mixed with air as part of foam sclerotherapy.

What can I expect after the treatment?

You do not require any time off work. The treated areas may sting or itch that evening and the next day, but paracetamol can be taken if required. Strenuous exercise or high-impact sports should be avoided for one to two weeks after sclerotherapy.

Sun or sunbed exposure should be avoided completely for at least four weeks. You will need to wear a compression stocking on each leg treated for one to four weeks. For the first four to seven days the stocking must not be removed, after that it should be worn during waking hours only. Long-haul flying is not recommended within four weeks of treatment.

Bruising disappears within three weeks; any brown skin staining will be gone within six to 24 months but occasionally leaves a pale brown mark. If staining does occur, very high sun protection factor must be used in the affected areas until it has faded.

Larger veins may become lumpy after treatment and require massage. Very rarely a scab can form, this may leave a small scar.

Deep venous thrombosis is rare after microsclerotherapy as is phlebitis (inflammation) of nearby larger veins after any treatment. Rarely the injections can cause new, tiny red veins to form, this is called matting.

After two months, if there is still lumpiness or brown skin staining, a simple anti-inflammatory gel can be massaged into the area, such as ibuprofen or diclofenac gel.

Microsclerotherapy injections for thread veins on the legs/body

£250 per 30 minutes

Please note thread vein treatments are not available on the National Health Service.