What is it about?

Many people, including actors and actresses, suffer from prominent veins in the centre of their forehead. These veins run from the hairline straight down the forehead to the nose. Sometimes there is one central vein. In other cases, there can be two or three prominent veins. These veins enlarge and become prominent in the heat, after exercise, during smiling and with alcohol. They can be very embarrassing and people who suffer from them say they ruin photographs, particularly in the sunshine. Up until recently, there has been no treatment that has been successful for these veins. After many years of research, we have developed a way of treating these veins through a single needle hole for each vein, at the top of the forehead. A special laser fibre is passed down each of these veins. Local anaesthetic and cold air are used to protect the skin while the vein is then closed by the laser. For the first time, patients can get rid of these vertical forehead veins using pinhole surgery as a walk-in walk-out procedure. Prof Mark Whiteley has applied for a patent for this new operation and it is currently undergoing examination.

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Why is it important?

Most doctors tell patients that these vertical veins in the middle of their forehead cannot be treated. This is why it is so important that patients are aware that there is a treatment for these prominent and unsightly veins.


Several years ago, I started removing these forehead veins using a technique called "phlebectomy". Making very small incisions under local anaesthetic, I hoped these veins away using special instruments. Unfortunately, in about 20% of people, these veins would not come out. In a further 10-20% of people, the vein started to regrow again. It was clear that just like in the leg varicose veins, removing the veins without doing anything to stop growing back again was not optimal. Working with Dr Charles Esteves Pereira and Dr Carlos Alberto Rover in Brazil, we developed an endovenous laser technique. Based on how varicose veins are treated in the legs, we developed a way of miniaturising this for the small veins on the forehead and techniques to reduce the risk of any burning of the skin. As a new technique, a patent has been applied for this operation. Currently, the only people in the world approved to do this surgery are the authors of this paper.

Professor Mark S Whiteley
The Whiteley Clinic

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Endovenous Thermal Ablation of Prominent Central Forehead Veins (Supratrochlear Veins), Dermatologic Surgery, October 2020, Wolters Kluwer Health,
DOI: 10.1097/dss.0000000000002778.
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