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Varicose veins are a common problem, affecting up to 1 in 3 adults in their lifetime. They are usually a sign of an underlying venous insufficiency.
Thread veins can appear anywhere on the body but are mostly evidenced on the legs and face. They are more common than varicose veins, affecting up to 80% of adults.
Leg ulcers appear as broken skin in the lower leg or feet. We have been successfully treating venous leg ulcers for over 20 years.
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Thermocoagulation, often referred to as Veinwave, is a microwave technique used to destroy thread veins.
Since we started at Veincentre almost 20 years ago, we have found that the most effective treatment for thread veins is microsclerotherapy. There are some patients, however, who do not respond well to microsclerotherapy, or for whom it may be dangerous. We never use microsclerotherapy on facial thread veins, for example, because there is a small risk that it could enter blood vessels that are linked to the eyes or the brain. A few patients have such fine thread veins in the legs that they are too small to access with a needle and others in whom, despite adequate injections, the thread veins never seem to disappear. To be fair this is a small percentage of patients most of whom find microsclerotherapy of leg thread veins works very well.
For this small group of thread vein patients, i.e. leg vein failures or facial veins, we have Thermocoagulation. At present, this technology is only usually available at our Stoke-on-Trent clinic – but we are hoping to introduce this more widely across our UK locations.
You can see a brief video of the procedure here:
Thermocoagulation works, as the name suggests, by coagulating the blood in the thread veins by heating them. This then leads to permanent destruction of the thin-walled and tiny veins. The heat is applied using microwave energy at the end of a minuscule needle, which just pricks the very surface of the skin that is overlying the vein. The vein itself is not punctured.
Applications of heat are applied every 2-3mm along the veins which can be seen to disappear in front of your eyes. In a 30-minute treatment session, approximately a total of one foot of vein length can be treated. This sounds like a lot, but most patients have considerably more than a foot length of thread veins, and therefore more than one treatment session is usually required. Also, even if all thread veins are initially treated and appear to instantly disappear, some may return, also necessitating a second treatment.