Leg Veins 

When we consider leg veins they largely fall into two categories:

  1. Small Veins
  2. Large Veins

Small Veins

Small (Spider) Veins known as telengectase which may appear red, purplish blue or very dark. They may be scattered all over the limb or in patches particularly behind the knee on inside of knee outer thigh or around ankle.

This type of vein is treated by injection sclerotherapy which involves the use of a sclerosant agent to make the veins fibrose and be no longer visible. This treatment has been used for over fifty years and is able to eliminate between 50% to 80% of veins per treatment per area treated. On some occasions a compression stocking is recommended but usually is not used.

This is a short procedure each session lasting 30 minutes, however a medical and vein assessment is required prior to booking any treatment times. One limb is treated on each session and usually each limb requires two treatments, however this can vary depending on what an individual finds acceptable.

Sometimes people ask about laser treatments, at present there is no known consistently reliable method for removing veins with laser. By contrast treatment of face veins is best performed by laser.

What about the larger veins?

Many people develop large veins which become visible mostly in the leg but also in the thigh. These veins have lost their pumping function the blood then refluxeses (runs in the reverse, downward direction) and the blood will pool in them and the consequent dilatation.

They are called varicose veins and there are many theories as to why they arise, however pregnancy and genetic inheritance are the two most definite causes. Varicose veins are not restricted to older individuals as the incidence appears about the same for each decade of life.

Problems with these veins arise from their appearance and many individuals will not wear skirts or shorts because of this condition. Moreover these veins can result in brown staining of the lower leg, as well as inflammation and itch (varicose eczema), skin breakdown to ulcers and sometimes superficial blood clotting. Frequently the varicose eczema is not properly recognised since not all refluxing veins are easily visible. Topical steroids and moisturisers will not correct this problem.

Leg Veins

How are they treated?

In the 1950’s a Swiss doctor devised the modern method of Ambulatory Phlebotomy. This enables the removal of the veins without the need to be admitted for hospital stay. With the development of the ultrasound precise identification of the nonfunctioning veins is now possible such that these may be mapped and only the exact nonfunctioning veins removed. The treatment may be done in a morning and there is no requirement to be hospitalised, or for long periods off work. All the treatment is done in our day procedure centre.

Won’t I need these veins?

No there is twenty times more vein capacity in your lower limbs than required, and in addition humans have the capacity to grow new ones, this is called angiogeneis. In addition the veins which require removal are abnormal and non functioning, these ultimately cause more problems and in no way contribute to your well being.


There are several  colored light wavelengths which may be absorbed into the red haemoglobin  within the blood cell this then results in the heating of the blood vessel which then fibroses to exclude the blood. The blood vessels are traced out with the laser beam to eliminate the vessels. This is excellent for larger veins, for smaller veins which are difficult to see and still cause that reddish color IPL is used as an area treatment that is an area is treated rather than a specific vein. IPL machines are not true lasers but emit a wide spectrum of high energy  light wavelengths, various unwanted wavelengths are filtered out The number of treatments depends on the profusion of veins however for discrete veins only one or two treatments may be required with laser, IPL treatments are usually from three to six. For an assessment or further information please contact us.


Some laser treatments may be eligible for medicare rebates, but may not attract private health insurance benefits.