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T: 028 9032 3888

Types of procedure

Thermal or Laser Ablation

– Get Rid of Varicose Veins With No Surgery, Scar or Anaesthesia

Thermal ablation is a minimally invasive, clinically proven alternative to surgical vein stripping that effectively and safely treats varicose veins by passing either a radio frequency or laser fibre directly into the vein. Heat is then applied to cauterise the vein from the inside.

Benefits of Thermal Ablation

  •  Short treatment times, normally less than one hour
  • Procedure is performed in a normal treatment room
  • No general anaesthesia or hospital stay is required
  • Minimal pain or bruising following the procedure
  • Immediate relief of the symptoms of varicose veins
  • No scars
  • Excellent clinical outcomes
  • What to expect at your procedure

The procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance. Local anaesthetic is infiltrated along the length of the vein t be treated. A thin fibre is inserted through a tiny entry point (usually near the knee) it takes about 3 minutes to seal the faulty vein. You will be required to wear tight surgical stocking for 7 days. Your normal day activity is then resumed.


Foam sclerotherapy

Foam sclerotherapy can allow patients who are not suitable for thermal ablation to have non-surgical treatment of their varicose veins. Ultrasound visualisation is used to guide injection of the foam solution directly into your varicose veins. A combination of tight bandages and compression stockings are used for two weeks, minimising the risk of pain and inflammation of the treated veins. Repeat treatments may be required to completely remove all veins

Benefits of Foam Sclerotherapy

  •  Very quick to perform, treatments take between 15 and 30 minutes
  • Procedure costs are much lower than thermal ablation or surgery
  • Procedure is performed in a normal treatment room
  • No general anaesthesia or hospital stay is required
  • What to expect at your procedure

A few small needles are placed in the affected veins under ultrasound guidance. Your leg is elevated. Foam is prepared at the bedside and injected into the veins. Ultrasound is used to confirm complete treatment of the affected veins. Compression pads and bandages are applied

After the procedure

  • Compression is applied day and night for the first seven days
  • Stockings are worn during the day time only for the second seven days
  • Phlebitis (inflammation of the treated veins) can occur after the procedure, and if severe may lead to staining of the skin
  • Closure rates are lower than thermal ablation and treatment may need to be repeated



Microsclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat spider veins and small varicose veins. It involves injecting a solution into the spider veins in order to close the veins and causing them to disappear. Usually 50-80 percent of injected veins are eliminated with each injection session. Patient satisfaction is normally achieved with two or three treatment sessions.

Benefits of microsclerotherapy

  •  Better results when compared to the various laser options
  • Any small feeding veins are also treated at the same session
  • Very fine needles mean that treatment is almost painless
  • What to expect at your procedure

Treatment takes between 30 and 45 minutes. Some patients find it more comfortable to wear a pair of shorts for the treatment. Compression is worn for 3 days full time following the procedure, then day time only for the next 2 weeks. Bruising is common at injection sites and rarely small blisters can develop. Treatment causes the veins to spasm and close. These are absorbed by the body and typically disappear in 1-3 months.

After the procedure

  •  You will be asked to take a 10 minute walk
  • Itch at injection sites is common, occasionally an antihistamine is needed to bring ease
  • Brown staining sometimes can occur at injection sites, these almost always fade completely in 3-6 months

For further information on our vein clinic or
to book a consultation with Alastair Lewis, Julie Reid or Colin Weir – Vascular surgeons, please contact us at:

Fitzwilliam Clinic, 70-72 Lisburn Road, Belfast
Tel: 028 9032 3888