Veinwave treatment is a medical procedure for spider veins with no side effects and minimal bruising. The benefits of veinwave treatment include less pain, faster treatments and safer results for broken or red veins on the face, legs and arms. The procedure can be used on any type of skin because it doesn’t cause loss of pigmentation or skin discolouration.
Historical and Clinical Information
Veinwave therapy was introduced by Dr Brian Newman, MD, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, in 2001. The procedure uses thermocoagulation, a safe form of heat generated by a fine-tipped, insulated needle.
How Veinwave Therapy Works
Veinwave therapy uses a special needle that channels microwave energy into delicate veins to break them down and eliminate their unsightly appearance. One session can treat between 18 and 20 inches of blood vessels in the same number of minutes.
A small handheld probe with a fine needle tip is used during treatment to apply microwave energy in a process called thermocoagulation. The doctor or dermatologist zaps the offending veins, which dry up and fade away completely. Although new veins can appear later in the same area, this rarely occurs. The treatment is most often a permanent solution. Icing of the skin or using numbing cream is often used to prevent even minor discomfort.
This work is done on an outpatient basis, and you can usually return to normal activities immediately. A skilled practitioner can treat veins all over the body including the nose, face, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and knees – anywhere spider veins and telangiectasia appear. Telangiectasia is a condition of tangled veins that looks like threads, which are similar to spider veins.
After veinwave treatment, the tiny blood vessels are permanently destroyed. Your results will improve over the next couple of days. There is no need for bandaging, special treatment or bed rest. The risks of scarring are minimal, and the procedure won’t discolour dark skin complexions.
The Benefits of Choosing Veinwave Treatment
You can use veinwave treatment for spider veins all over the body, such as bony areas of the knees and ankles, which usually don’t work well with laser treatments. Small veins in the face are tremendously delicate and don’t respond well to laser treatments. A miscalculation during facial therapy could be highly visible, and veinwave treatments pose little or no risk of burning or scarring. Other benefits of veinwave treatments include:
- Excellent for treating thread or spider veins of the legs
- Works well on dark and olive complexions without discolouring the skin
- Treats red veins of the nose
- Requires no bandaging after treatment
- Relatively painless procedure
- Minimally invasive treatment as an outpatient in an office setting
- No downtime from work, family obligations and favourite activities
More than 75 percent of women older than 18 report that they have spider veins. They’re caused by abnormal blood flow and weakened blood vessels. Veinwave therapy can remove these veins permanently. 
Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Veinwave Treatment?
The treatment is well tolerated by most people, but veinwave therapy might not be appropriate for some people. Those with epilepsy, bleeding disorders and pacemakers shouldn’t choose this option. Pregnant women should also avoid veinwave treatment. There is a small risk of infection in any medical procedure, and some patients experience scarring, but this is rare.
People with thick skin in areas where spider veins are located might have some difficulty with veinwave treatment. Thick skin can make delivering enough heat to the vein problematic without damaging surrounding tissue. In these cases, it might be better to choose another therapeutic treatment in place of veinwave therapy. Conversely, treating thin-skinned areas with veinwave is ideal because it’s easy for your doctor to dial down the heat setting.
Does Insurance Cover Veinwave Treatment?
You should always check with your insurance carrier or agent to find what your policy covers. Most insurance companies consider veinwave treatment to be elective cosmetic surgery, so they don’t cover it. However, if you receive veinwave therapy in conjunction with treatment of varicose veins, your treatment might be covered.
The procedure is generally unavailable free of charge on the National Health Service, but different regions make special allowances, so you should talk with your general practitioner to get his or her recommendations. The average cost of veinwave treatments runs £150 – £250 per session. Since only one treatment is usually necessary to remove spider veins permanently, the cost is affordable for most women.
The Problems with Alternative Treatments
There are other treatment options for spider veins, but they are generally more expensive, less effective and fraught with side effects and longer recovery periods. Sclerotherapy and laser treatments are the most common alternatives, but these procedures come with these disadvantages:
- Chemical Skin DamageThe harsh chemicals used in sclerotherapy injections can result in browning of the skin, discolouration and allergic reactions.
- Skin BurnsThin skin can be ‘burned’ by both laser treatments and sclerotherapy.
- Increased ScarringLasers and injections can result in scarring and other undesirable side effects.
- Time-consuming TherapiesAlternative treatments for spider veins can be time-consuming. It can take up to 10 minutes just to treat a small area of spider veins. If you have many areas where spider veins have developed, the cost and time of treatment can rise quickly.
- DiscomfortAlthough sclerotherapy and laser treatments are marketed as minimally invasive, multiple zaps and injections are usually necessary. These can be uncomfortable for some people.
- Might Require Multiple TreatmentsAlternative therapies, which include sclerotherapy, laser and even electrolysis treatments, often require multiple treatments to get less effective results than veinwave therapy.
- The Electrolysis Alternative Is RiskyElectrolysis, which is used for hair removal, is sometimes employed to treat thread and spider veins. However, be forewarned that this process is more painful and subject to side effects and complications. It’s critical to choose a highly experienced practitioner if you go this route.
- Longer Recovery TimesRecovery time for sclerotherapy and laser procedures is longer than veinwave treatment.
The Veinwave Advantage for Treating Spider Veins and Other Skin Conditions
Sclerotherapy works well in treating larger veins, but it doesn’t do well on thread and spider veins. If you have multiple vein problems, veinwave is the ideal companion therapy to treat smaller veins. Veinwave can also treat rosacea, acne and other cosmetic skin conditions, but you should consult your doctor before trying veinwave on other skin problems.
The Science Behind Veinwave
Veinwave uses thermocoagulation, a process that employs an ultrafine needle to heat the tiny blood vessels. This process creates a thermal lesion that destroys the vein, which is eventually reabsorbed into the skin. There is no damage to the surrounding skin and tissue.
The procedure is painless for most people – it feels like a tiny pinprick. The therapy works well on difficult areas such as knees, ankles and bony parts of the face.
Preparation for Veinwave Treatment
Veinwave treatment usually takes a maximum of half an hour depending on the number of veins. There is little discomfort, and the insulated needle doesn’t generate any damage to surrounding tissue. Those who choose to undergo veinwave therapy shouldn’t have epilepsy or a history of seizure disorders.
Potential patients shouldn’t have pacemakers, heart defibrillators or other implanted devices. Pregnant women or nursing mothers shouldn’t undergo the procedure. Other contraindications include not using self-tanning lotions for 14 days before the procedure and not having spray-on tans or tanning bed procedures during the 30 days immediately before treatment. If you generally develop keloid scars after skin injuries, you shouldn’t use veinwave.
Allergies to chromium or nickel are also reasons to avoid veinwave therapy. Heart disease, diabetes and tattoos in the treatment area are also contraindicated. You shouldn’t apply any kind of skin lotion or makeup on the day of your treatment.
You can expect the treated area to swell, turn red and become itchy during the first 24 to 36 hours. Micro clots usually appear beneath the layers of skin, but these will disappear within 3 to 6 weeks.
You can use ice packs to reduce swelling and take over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and any inflammation. The area shouldn’t be shaved for at least 7 days after the procedure. You also shouldn’t use any self-tanning lotions or sprays for 7 days.
Anyone – male or female – can suffer from red, spider or broken veins that damage the skin’s appearance. The best option for most people is veinwave therapy. It’s affordable, free of pain and complications, fast and effective.