Leg spider veins are also called “thread veins” or “telangiectasia”. Spider veins are often said to be “only cosmetic”.
This lady is in her 50s. She came to the The Whiteley Clinic because treatment at other clinics had not worked.
She had previously had sclerotherapy for these leg spider veins. However, she had not seen any result whatsoever.
As it turned out, this is not a tall surprising. At The Whiteley Clinic, she had a full assessment under the Whiteley Protocol. This includes a full venous duplex ultrasound scan performed by a vascular technologist specialising in veins, and trained in the Whiteley Protocol.
The venous duplex ultrasound scan showed that there were large “hidden varicose veins” underlying these spider veins. Without treating these, it is highly unlikely that any treatment of the spider veins would be successful.
The name “hidden varicose veins” was first used by Mark Whiteley in 2009. In his book “Understanding venous reflux: the cause of varicose veins and venous leg ulcers” he explains why these hidden varicose veins are worse than visible varicose veins.
In medical terms, “hidden varicose veins” are called a variety of different names. These include “superficial venous reflux” (SVR), “superficial venous incompetence” (SVI) and “chronic venous incompetence” (CVI).
All of these mean that the valves have stopped working in some of the leg veins. This allows the venous blood to flow the wrong way down the veins. In “hidden varicose veins” this blood hits the ankle causing inflammation. This can result in thread veins as in this lady. It can also cause swelling, skin damage and even leg ulcers.
Patients with normal varicose veins have the same problem. However, in these patients, the falling blood stretches the surface veins making them bulge. These bulging veins are the “varicose veins”.
The treatment of leg spider veins starts off with looking for an underlying problem. Luckily this lady came to The Whiteley Clinic. She had her venous duplex ultrasound scan as recommended by the Whiteley Protocol. This found her hidden varicose veins. The presence of these explained why her previous treatment elsewhere had not worked.
Now that she has had this scan, we will be able to treat the hidden varicose veins. In her case, this would be a combination of treatments. For the hidden varicose veins we can use endovenous laser, radiofrequency ablation, Venaseal glue or Clarivein (MOCA). to treat the incompetent perforators we use TRLOP closure. Foam sclerotherapy then hen followed by foam sclerotherapy.
This treatment itself will stop further deterioration, and may even improve the spider veins. Once finished, any remaining spider veins can be treated with microsclerotherapy. As the underlying problem will have been fixed, the chance of success is very good.
If you have spider veins, or think you might have hidden varicose veins, contact us by e-mail or telephone. Our experts are happy to help.