Unwanted hand veins

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Some people are born with prominent veins on their hands which become noticeable at a fairly young age. Others develop them as they grow older due to the loss of fatty tissue and skin elasticity. Unwanted hand veins are primarily a cosmetic problem. In most cases, they're not true varicose veins, but are merely visible because they lie so close to the skin. However, if their appearance bothers you, hand veins can be injected in a technique called sclerotherapy (sklair-oh-THAIR-uh-pee) or surgically removed in an operation called phlebectomy (fluh-BEHK-toh-mee). When hand veins are treated with sclerotherapy, they tend to require a more concentrated sclerosing solution and more treatments than comparable veins in the leg. The procedure can be more painful in the hand and also appears to carry a higher risk of complications such as blood clots. For this reason, a doctor who’s experienced with the technique should perform sclerotherapy of the hand. Another option is phlebectomy, an outpatient procedure in which the veins are removed a section at a time through tiny incisions with a hook-like instrument. No stitches are needed. Recovery is usually rapid, though bruises and swelling may persist for one to three weeks.

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