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Superficial temporal arteries (temple arteries)

Superfical temporal artery

Superfical temporal artery

Many people mistake the bulging superficial temporal arteries for veins. Veins in the temple region are blue or green and run down from the top of the scalp, behind the eye and then down under the eye and onto the face.

The superficial temporal arteries are always colourless. They bulge and usually are very tortuous. They usually run forwards from the top of the ear towards the eyebrow and then turn up towards the top of the scalp.

Just like all blood vessels, they get bigger with heat, excitement, exercise and alcohol. Many people find these very distressing particularly when they exercise.

If you want to check whether it is a superficial temporal artery rather than a vein, firstly if it is skin coloured it is most likely to be the artery. Secondly, if you feel very gently with the tips of your fingers, you can usually feel a pulse in it.

Most doctors and nurses will tell you that these cannot be treated.

Over the last few years, some doctors have tried to tie these to take the pressure out of the artery. However, the pressure of the artery blood bypasses the section that is tied and the artery re-opens again therefore simply tying the artery surgically, fails in about 20% of cases.

Superfical temporal artery – double ligation technique first described by Mark Whiteley 2021 Dermatologic Surgery

Superfical temporal artery – double ligation technique first described by Mark Whiteley 2021 Dermatologic Surgery

In 2019, Prof Mark Whiteley started developing a new duplex guided double ligation technique for treating these arteries.

In early 2021, he was the first person in the world to publish the technique with the results of his first 10 patients. This paper is due to be published in 2021 in the peer-reviewed journal “Dermatologic Surgery“.

Currently Prof Whiteley has not taught anybody else this technique as it is still new and only just about to be published. Prof Mark Whiteley 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.

For more information about the above treatment or to book in your consultation, please call 0330 058 1850 or email info@thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk. We look forward to welcoming you at our clinic.