Prominent vertical veins on the forehead can be very distressing for people who have them.
Medically these vertical veins are called the “supratrochlear veins”. According to the anatomy books, they should just be 2 of them. They come from the hair line, and run vertically down the forehead between the eyebrows to the base of the nose. However, although some patients do have just the two, quite often there is just one very large one or sometimes even three or four in a network. They really are quite variable.
These veins get more prominent when the person smiles, gets warm, exercises and drinks alcohol. Not surprisingly, they ruin photographs on holiday and on nights out.
Until 2016, these were regarded as impossible to treat. At that time, Prof Mark Whiteley started developing techniques to remove these veins.
Initially, he used a local anaesthetic technique called phlebectomy to physically remove the veins.
However, in 2019 he developed a new technique along with one of his colleagues from Brazil, Dr Charles Esteves Pereira.
Using a very small endovenous laser (a laser fibre that goes inside the vein) and a local anaesthetic technique based on research from The Whiteley Clinic, Mark and Charles have developed a minimally invasive operation to permanently remove these veins.
This is performed under local anaesthetic, and the only scars are tiny incisions usually just below the hairline. The bruising and scars are usually invisible within 2-6 weeks, and the early results of the technique are very successful.
In order to protect the skin and to reduce the risk of skin burns, a low laser power is used. This does mean that occasionally a vein fails to close, in which case the process is repeated. It is better to have to treat the vein a second time then to end up with skin burns on the forehead that could be permanent.
This procedure was developed by Prof Mark Whiteley and Dr Charles Esteves Pereira, and so it is not widely available. Indeed at the time of writing this, no one else has been trained to do this and the method is currently undergoing a patent application. Although doctors will be trained in the future, currently no doctors have been trained at present. Therefore please be aware of anyone offering this at present outside of the two inventors as they will not have access to the research showing the optimal techniques used.
Prof Mark Whiteley and Dr Charles Esteves Pereira will be running courses for this technique in the near future through The College of Phlebology, and doctors who have attended this course will be listed on that website.
Mark and Charles have published the first paper describing this technique in the international peer-reviewed journal, “Dermatologic Surgery“.
For more information about the above treatments or to book in your consultation, please call 0330 058 1850 or email [email protected]. We look forward to welcoming you at our clinic.