Seniority is Inevitable, Showing it...is Optional
"Hands are Heart's Landscape."
Pope John Paul II
The Old Masters, the “photographers” of times past, in this case, Albrecht Durer's, "Praying Hands" (1508) painted hands so beautifully that they not only added to the impact of the picture but were also a guide to the sitter’s age. This could, however, be depressing to the “cosmetically conscious” contemporary woman striving to keep looking young, dynamic, and appealing.
For quite some time by now, faces can be enhanced surgically or with injectables – or both; breast can be made larger, smaller, or just firmed; hips, thighs, tummies, and buttocks, slimmed and/or firmed. Yet, beyond the fifth decade, those “veiny” hands may disclose a degree of unnecessary “esthetic vulnerability”. Indeed, reaching maturity is inescapable, showing it, however… is optional! Fortunately, excellent esthetic medico-surgical options for bulging hand veins became, quite recently, available too.
A. Injectable fillers such as Collagen, Restylane, (Juvaderm), Sculptra, Bellafill, or own fat tissue, are by now, used for long time. Since veins will not be affected, the perceived improvement is achieved by puffed-up surrounding tissues. With possible one exception (injection of own fatty tissue harvested by liposuction) the filler treatment needs to be repeated usually at 8-12 months intervals, becoming quite expensive if the method is used for years. I have personally seen a patient treated with fat transfer and while the veins were less visible, the hand looked abnormally puffy as if one sustained a recent trauma. Please note, I do not use this treatment modality!
In both men and women, the existing normal-sized dorsal hand veins become more visible at a later stage of life because of the physiologic atrophy of hand muscles as well as the supporting subcutaneous fatty tissues compounded also with a much, much thinner skin too. So, while the vein sizes have not changed much, with the passage of time they become more noticeable and bulge more.
The modern ageless aspiring woman, interested in improving the looks of her hands, has today basically three available options:
The puffed up appearance.
(from the internet)
Injection sclerotherapy for hand veins (from the internet)
B. Injection Sclerotherapy implies injection of a chemical/irritant solution that ideally causes an injury/wound to the inner lining of any injected vein. This chemical injury/wound will trigger the physiologic response of healing like any other type of possible injuries or wounds (i.e. burned, pierced, stab, gunshot or cut wounds, etc.). The end result of any healing process is formation -in the veins only - of microscopically visible scar tissue which should trigger the closure of any injected veins, hand veins included. With vein(s) shut, blood is re-routed to other veins and the shrunk, shriveled, closed vein, not filled with dark venous blood should become invisible.
I say “should” as each person may respond less well than physiologically expected yet, in well-experienced hands and with proper care (good compression) and proper healing upon which the practitioner has no role, the results could be quite – in certain cases – satisfactory.
Unfortunately, however, one has to put up with delayed results as multiple injection sessions will be required days and weeks apart. Moreover, swelling of the hand, frequent blood clot formation in the injected veins (needing evacuation), and occasional distant deep vein clotting such as axillary vein thrombosis with or without signs of superficial phlebitis, has been reported, especially if a foamed sclerosing solution is used for injections rather than the usual liquid form. This could be a nasty complication able to degenerate in pulmonary emboli, a possibly life-threatening condition that may necessitate hospitalization and blood-thinning medications for at least six months. The possibility of residual brown pigmentation and relatively early recurrences are the similar complications observed in leg varicose veins treated with the same injection sclerotherapy. Because all of these negatives, I do not and will nevere use this treatment modality!
HISTORY. In 1995, I was first time challenged by a patient, satisfied with the results of her leg veins procedure, to help her out with her unsightly bulging hand veins too. The rest is history as they say…
Left hand done
She was a lady in her seventies. At that time, I was unaware if anybody was performing anything similar to satisfy her needs.
However, my long years of hospital practice taught me that these hand veins - with time, will get occluded in very sick bed ridden patients in need for long term IV therapy without any untoward consequences.
I did not know, however, what to expect when one ablate these hand veins in a short 1-2 hours period of time.
She was a right handed lady, so I agreed to treat her left hand only, just in case. As I have imagined, nothing negative happened. Ever since , both hands are done in one single session, and the rest is history as they say!
C. The RejuvaHands TM procedure, is an offshoot of Ambulatory Micro- Phlebectomy first used for varicose veins of the legs and as such it is, at least in my hands, a much more preferred minimally invasive method. Using only a 1-3 mm (1/8 -1/16 of an inch) skin entry points (basically puncture wounds) along the unwanted marked veins, the veins are removed with specially designed hooks resembling a crochet hook* and using simple local anesthesia.
Both hands are treated in the same office session that may last 1:30 – 2:30 hours. No stitches or butterfly (steristrips) are used and no downtime is required; indeed patients drive themselves away if they have not opted to receive a tranquilizer. In this case, somebody else has to drive. The initially applied bulky dressing is exchanged 24 hours with only a simple 2-inch wide ace bandage suggested for an additional 3-4 days. Of course, weight lifting should be avoided for some time, as well as wetting the hands usually for the same period of time. Bruises and swelling are possible, usually lasting for 7-10 days. The reason I mainly prefer this procedure is that in sclerotherapy the practitioner has to certainly know what solution, what volume, and concentration to use besides having a good technical command on how to inject the squiggly hand veins. The buck, however, stops here as the end results are mainly dependent on the proper healing process of the vein’s chemical injury/wound. This, however, is not the same in each patient and we the practitioners, do not have any magic “switch” to make the healing process slower, quicker, deeper, or better… I always say to my patients, when using sclerotherapy for any vein type, that the results are mainly patient dependent and that my participation in the final results is only 50%. The second 50% if not more is patient dependent. Contrary, when using Ambulatory Phlebectomy for any type of unwanted veins, leg, and hand veins included, the practitioner will be vested and responsible for the results at least 95% of cases. Indeed we remove those unwanted veins and do not have to rely on the patient healing to make veins to possibly completely disappear. With Ambulatory Phlebectomy the patient has to heal only a few minute sizes and scattered skin openings, through which the veins were removed, guaranteeing no scars left behind.
These are THE much-desired difference in the favor of this fascinating minimally invasive surgical – in local anesthesia – approach, so simple and with so much better results and without any potential complications. In 25 years we never had one infection and not one recurrence. This is contrary to the same procedure for the leg's varicose veins.
Needless to say, in my humble opinion, this cosmetic procedure easily, quickly, and successfully rids women of their bulging unwanted dorsal hand veins and for life, veins which otherwise might have betrayed their seniority.
* The first hook used was Dr. Muller's wife simple crochet hook! For anybody wondering what will happen to the venous circulation after removing the bulging veins, please note that there are plenty left over deep and superficial veins needed to maintain normal blood circulation in the hands.
Should you visit my office for the free consultations, you can see Alyse's hands in-person. She is my RN/office manager and her procedure was done in 2015!
Until then, as you scroll up to the beginning of the page, you will see three side by side three hand photos: before, the third day after the procedure, and the final result. It is she, Alyce, my RN and office manager!