Rejuvenate Your Hands with Vein Injections and Radiesse

  • Posted on: Aug 3 2017

Gnarly hand and forearm veins plague many women with passing years. You can blame the loss of fat and elastic tissue on the top of the hand. The veins themselves become progressively more tortuous and thin. One common complaint is “My grandchildren ask me ‘Grandma, what are those?’”

Older folks are not the only ones to detest hand veins. Athletic women thin down which may throw veins into greater relief. As muscles bulge from the increase in blood flow to and from the arm, so do the veins. And then there are many women who simply have prominent veins and wish to be rid of them.

For years, dermatologists have recommended fillers to hide the veins by plumping up the surrounding skin. Radiesse, a unique filler that spreads evenly over the back of the hand, has been a significant advance and today is the only approach used by dermatologists and plastic surgeons.

As good as that treatment may be, the ugly veins are only partially masked with Radiesse, so when the fillers start to get absorbed in less than a year, you’re back to square one and you will retreatment of what was only an unsatisfactory partial solution to the whole problem.

The good news is that veins on the back of the hand and in the forearm can be eliminated safely with foam sclerotherapy (injections). I have not seen complications from eliminating veins in the hand and forearm. Specifically, I have never seen swollen hands because the blood can’t get back to the heart. Other veins inside the hands and arms compensate for the absent surface veins.

I recommend limiting treatment to the top of the hand and the top and sides of the forearm. I won’t treat the underside of the forearm, or the knuckles and fingers. Occasionally I will eliminate veins above the elbow if I haven’t done too much elsewhere.

No medical procedure is foolproof. It’s possible to (accidentally) inject an artery instead of a vein, but I have never seen reports of permanent damage from that. Injections of foam anywhere in the body has its own set of reported complications (you can research that on the web) but I haven’t seen any of them with hand injections, and I use carbon dioxide instead of air which makes the procedure immeasurably safer. After treatment, we wrap the arms firmly and ask that the wraps stay on overnight. Most veins seem to disappear immediately, but all patients need to come back for re-evaluation which includes (1) further treatment of veins that don’t immediately respond and (2) removal of trapped clots in some of the successfully treated veins. Such clots are almost invariably present, since these hand and forearm veins are often surprisingly large and injecting the foam doesn’t push all the blood out. It may take a while, but the veins eventually disappear (typically one to two months) and most patients are thrilled with the results and near ecstasy if treatment is supplemented with Radiesse.

Wayne S. Gradman, M.D.

Hand veins- before

Hand veins- after

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