0330 058 1850

Removal bulging superficial temporal arteries

by – November 7, 2019

Superficial temporal arteries are a common cause of bulging blood vessels on the temples. Many people have bulging blood vessels in their temples. This is particularly common in people who go to the gym or keep fit.

Now, at The Whiteley Clinic, we remove these using very small incisions. We do not use stitches in the skin. The whole procedure is done under local anaesthetic.

Bulging temple veins or arteries

Left Superficial Temporal Artery Ligation using Whiteley Clinic technique

Left Superficial Temporal Artery Ligation using Whiteley Clinic technique

Blood vessels bulging on the temples can be arteries or veins.

There are some simple ways to tell the difference between the two.

Veins are usually green or blue in this area. They are usually relatively straight.

Arteries in this area are colourless. They bulge particularly after exercise or when hot. The arteries are usually tortuous which mean they look like they are wiggling right and left, rather than being straight.

If you feel very gently, you will feel a pulse in these vessels. However, you will need to be very gentle to feel this.

This artery in this area is the superficial temporal artery.

Sometimes you can have both occurring together. In these patients, we treat the artery first followed by the veins.

If there is any doubt, at The Whiteley Clinic we have high-resolution duplex ultrasound machines that can identify the difference between these small veins or arteries.

Treatment of superficial temporal arteries bulging in the temples

Right Superficial Temporal Artery Ligation using Whiteley Clinic technique

Right Superficial Temporal Artery Ligation using Whiteley Clinic technique

Most doctors will not treat these blood vessels. Laser through the skin does not work on the arteries, it only works on smaller blue or green veins.

Those surgeons who will treat these arteries, usually only perform treatment of these through quite large incisions approximately 1-2 cm. These wounds are usually closed with stitches.

Over the last two years, Prof Mark Whiteley of The Whiteley Clinic has been developing local anaesthetic surgical treatments for facial veins that are too large to be lasered.

The technique he has developed for the treatment of the superficial temporal arteries is now proving to be successful.

We mark the arteries with high-resolution duplex ultrasound.

Prof Whiteley makes a couple of very small incisions, to give access to the artery.

The incisions are too small to need stitches. The Whitely Clinic technique also reduces scarring.

This destroys the artery itself, stopping it bulging on the surface.

Because there is so much blood supply to the scalp, destroying this artery has no adverse effect on the patient.

If you want to know more about treating superficial temporal arteries,  or any bulging veins or blood vessels on the face or scalp, please contact us:



The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your doctor or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site and the information provided is not a substitute for medical advice.