Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Learn about your treatment options

Safe and effective treatment for vein conditions with world class cosmetic outcomes.

Got vein problems? You’re not alone

Veins carry blood back to the heart from the rest of the body. Sometimes individual veins don’t work the
way they should, or they stop working entirely. Problems with leg veins are very common. In fact, about
half of all Australian adults have this kind of problems with their veins. The good news is it’s usually very

The most frequent vein problems are:

Spider veins — small and close to the skin, they can look either red or blue. Their scientific name is
telangiectasia, but they’re better known by this nickname because they often spread out like a spider’s

Reticular veins — slightly larger and further under the skin, these are the ones that feed into spider

Varicose veins — the largest of the three, they look blue and knobby and often bulge out from the skin.

The symptoms caused by these vein problems can include heaviness, burning, aching, stinging, itching,
throbbing, ‘restless legs’ and cramps.

What happens if varicose veins aren’t treated?

Without treatment vein disease is likely to become worse over time. Pain, discomfort and swelling can
increase and more serious complications can develop, including phlebitis (inflammation of the vein),
blood clots, dermatitis and vein ulcers.

What treatments are available?

If you’re old enough, you might remember when surgery (“stripping”) was the only way to treat varicose
veins. Fortunately, things have changed. The highly effective state of the art treatments we offer at our
practice are ‘minimally invasive’, meaning they are quicker and safer, with much less disruption to your
routine and much speedier recovery.

There are five main treatment options. You may require one or more, depending on your condition.

1. Injection microsclerotherapy: Sclerosant is a special substance which eliminates veins that are no
longer working by making them collapse, after which they break down naturally within the body. It’s
injected using an ultra-fine needle. This method treats small spider veins.

2. Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy: For larger veins, including hidden and bulging varicose veins, we
use ultrasound to guide the injection of the sclerosant.

3. Thermal ablation: This uses heat to eliminate large straight veins (such as the great saphenous vein
that runs from the ankle to the groin). Some clinics use laser but we choose radiofrequency (RF)
because it has less discomfort in the period after treatment.

4. Glue Procedure: Suitable for eliminating some large veins, this involves injecting them with special
medical glue called cyanoacrylate.

5. Microphlebectomy: Occasionally, some veins are best removed at the time of the sclerotherapy/RF/
glue. It is done through a tiny incision with local anaesthetic. It is almost always done in combination
with one of the treatments above.