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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.
Upfront and fixed prices. Find out exactly what you’ll pay before attending. Medical Insurance should fund varicose vein treatment.
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The below content has been medically reviewed and approved by Vein Specialist Mrs Helen Burndred at Veincentre.
Last reviewed 1st March 2023.
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In this section:
Thermocoagulation, often referred to as ThermaVein® (brand name of the machine used to perform thermocoagulation), is a microwave technique used to destroy thread veins on the face. Thermocoagulation is the gold standard treatment for facial thread veins, which are also known as spider veins on the face. The procedure is safe, effective and permanent, with instant visible changes, carries no risk of skin staining and minimal aftercare is required.
While we mostly use ThermaVein® to treat veins on the face, it can also be used to treat veins on other parts of the body. In some instances, it is used on thread veins in the legs when a small percentage of people don’t respond well to microsclerotherapy. This is because some patients have such fine thread veins in the legs that they’re too small to access with a needle. Others can’t seem to get rid of their thread veins despite adequate injections.
Microsclerotherapy is the usual recommended treatment for thread veins on the legs. We never use microsclerotherapy on facial thread veins. This is due to the small risk that the injected liquid could enter blood vessels that are linked to the eyes or brain. Microsclerotherapy can also cause skin staining, which may last for many months and would appear unsightly on the face.
Thermocoagulation works by sealing the vein closed. This leads to permanent destruction of the tiny, thin-walled veins. Heat is applied using microwave energy at the end of a minuscule needle, which just pricks the very surface of the skin that covers the vein. The vein itself is not punctured.
Heat is introduced every few millimetres along the vein, through the small needle. The vein instantly disappears in front of your eyes. There will be an inflammatory response to the treatment which may leave you with some redness and the appearance that the veins are still there. This can last a few weeks. Sometimes veins will require a further session of ThermaVein® treatment in order to get a full cosmetic resolution. This will be discussed at consultation and after every appointment.
For most patients, thermocoagulation is very tolerable. It is often described to feel like small electric shocks. The ThermaVein® procedure can make your eyes water when done around the nose.
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All medical treatments carry a certain amount of risk, but thermocoagulation is very safe. There is a low risk of small, temporary scabs that resemble cat scratches, as well as bruising and scarring. There can occasionally be tiny red marks that appear, but these are usually eliminated through further treatment. No major side effects have been reported.
The appointment length of thermocoagulation is around 45 minutes. This includes consultation, the consent process and also the treatment, in which time we’ll treat as many veins as we can. If you feel like you would benefit from more cosmetic improvement, you may need to return for another session.
We offer thermocoagulation treatment at our clinics nationwide. Find your nearest clinic here.
The area that has been treated will be red and feel warm to the touch immediately after treatment, as it is an inflammatory response. This will usually calm down within the first few days. The treated skin may also start to feel dry and develop a few tiny micro scabs. In the days following treatment, some larger vessels may appear visible. This is normal and the vessels will gradually fade and be broken down by the body.
Although there is little aftercare required following thermocoagulation, there are a few things we recommend.
For the first 48 hours following treatment:
Our thermocoagulation treatment prices are upfront and fixed.
Consultation (free of charge), followed by treatment – £300 (inclusive of VAT).
Extra sessions of thermocoagulation – £180 (inclusive of VAT). These are to be booked as required, ideally 4 to 6 weeks following initial treatment, but no longer than 6 months.