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Thread Veins – Legs

What are Thread Veins?

Thread Veins of the leg otherwise known as Spider Veins, Broken Veins, Surface Veins, Broken Capillaries or Venous Flares are extremely common affecting 1 in 4 women and an unknown number of men. They are found closer to the skin’s surface and have the appearance of small fine flat red veins or thicker purplish veins which are either isolated or in clusters.

Thread Veins are not just ‘cosmetic’. Research performed in 2001 has shown that 89% of people with Thread Veins actually have underlying vein problems. These can either be Minor or Major Varicose Veins. These are very often not visible from the surface and cannot be found without the aid of a specialised Duplex Ultrasound Scan of the legs. If you have Thread Veins, you should have a Venous Duplex Ultrasound Scan before having any treatment to make sure that you don’t have LEG PUMP FAILURE underlying the Thread Veins.

On consultation at The Vein Clinic Ireland we use a hand held Doppler to see if there is any evidence of underlying Varicose Veins. If any evidence is found, then the patient will be referred for a Duplex Ultrasound Scan to examine every vein in the leg from the Deep Veins right the way through to the Thread Veins of the skin. This scan will show the exact cause of the Thread Veins in the leg and will show any hidden Varicose Veins.

Following a Duplex Ultrasound Scan the best treatment suited will be discussed with a Consultant Vascular Surgeon. The Varicose Veins will be treated first and then the Thread Veins will be treated.

If the Doppler does not show any signs of underlying Venous Reflux, then we can proceed to treat the Thread Veins by Microsclerotherapy.

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