Ankle and Foot Veins

Spider veins or varicose veins that appear around the ankle or foot are known as Corona Phlebectasia by medical professionals. Etymologically, ‘corona’ refers to fan-like rays that radiate from the sun’s surface and, in this medical context, describes the fan-shaped nature of spider vein capillaries on the inside of the foot. ‘Phlebectasia’ indicates the presence of abnormal veins and capillaries. Together these terms refer to a fan-like spread of abnormal capillaries.

What causes ankle and foot varicose veins?

When working as they should, veins transport blood in a single direction back to the lungs and heart in order to be oxygenated. Sometimes, the valves within the vein walls that keep blood flowing in one direction fail, causing blood to leak backward. This phenomenon is known as venous reflux or venous insufficiency. When blood pools in a part of the vein suffering from venous reflux, a bulge may appear on the surface of the skin.

Patients that suffer from prominent ankle veins or Corona Phlebectasia almost always have underlying venous insufficiency around the small saphenous veins or the perforator veins in the lower leg. This can be treated using a laser or radiofrequency treatment known as endovenous ablation or a medical adhesive procedure called cyanoacrylate closure.

Doctors should always investigate the possibility that a patient with prominent ankle veins has issues with venous insufficiency. Ankle and foot veins should not be treated in isolation, rather, a duplex ultrasound examination should be conducted to identify underlying vein issues.

Do ankle and foot varicosities need to be treated?

Patients with suspected venous insufficiency should see a phlebologist with expertise in the discovery and treatment of the condition. Even small blue veins around the ankles and feet can indicate an emerging vein condition.

If untreated for too long, varicose veins can cause a number of problematic symptoms including venous eczema, skin discolouration, leg swelling, ulceration, and a hardening of the ankle and lower leg. They can also cause serious blood clots.

Common symptoms of varicose veins include

  • Aching legs
  • Throbbing, itching and burning around the leg
  • Restless legs and frequent cramping
  • Leg heaviness and fatigue

People with venous disease or problem veins may present in three main ways

  • Prominent veins alone – visibly large and bulging varicose veins, smaller thread-like spider veins or reticular veins, without other symptoms or pain.
  • Prominent veins plus symptoms like swelling in the leg, or venous ulcers (breakdown in skin around the lower leg or ankle region)
  • Symptoms alone with no visible abnormal veins

How We Treat Ankle and Foot Veins

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)

Under ultrasound guidance, a laser fibre is placed into the abnormal vein through a tiny incision. When the laser is activated and the fibre is slowly removed, this produces a reaction in the vein wall along the treated section, resulting in collapse and sclerosis of the vein wall with minimal discomfort.

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Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy is a highly specialised procedure involving injecting a sclerosant solution into the abnormal veins using ultrasound guidance, causing the vein wall to collapse. The veins dissolve and disappear as the body gradually absorbs them.

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Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) relies on thermal (heat based) damage to the vein, that leads to immediate closure of the vein. Once the vein is treated by radiofrequency ablation, it will gradually undergo complete absorption by the body and disappear over time.

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Your vein surgeon will choose the treatment that perfectly suits your veins.

Varicose Vein Treatment

Before & After

Before

After

Patient
71-year-old woman

The Problem
Varicose veins and capillary congestion in the right lower leg.

Treatment Method
Endovenous Laser Ablation and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

Results
12 months post-treatment shot shows no visible problem veins and return to normal pigmentation.

Before

After

Patient
60-year-old woman (right leg)

The Problem
Recurrent varicose veins following 3 stripping procedures, which left her with new varicose veins and scarring.

Treatment Method
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy & Endovenous Laser Ablation

Results
No more discomfort, patient is pleased aesthetically with the appearance of her legs.

Before

After

Patient
56-year-old woman (close-up view)

The Problem
Left inner thigh capillary networks directly fed by an incompetent internal great saphenous vein.

Treatment Method
Endovenous Laser Ablation and Sclerotherapy.

Results
Resolution of the visible spider veins.

Before

After

The Problem
Anterior thigh circumflex vein.

Treatment Method
Endovenous Laser Ablation and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

Results
The patient's healing time extended to 3-4 months and this review at 6 months revealed excellent progress.

Before

After

Patient
75-year-old woman

The Problem
Longstanding venous ulcer of the left lower leg.

Treatment Method
Endovenous Laser Ablation and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

Results
The ulcer was successfully and permanently healed with these treatments.

Before

After

Patient
40-year-old woman

The Problem
Prominent periorbital veins on temple and under eye.

Treatment Method
Direct Vision Sclerotherapy

Results
Problem vein is no longer visible.

Medicare Rebate & Costs

The cost of treating varicose veins depends on severity of the veins as well as which treatment is used. We discuss these costs in detail at your initial consultation.


A Medicare rebate is claimable on all varicose vein procedures, except the most superficial spider veins.

Schedule an Appointment

Call 1300 281 339 or send us a message and we will contact you

Our friendly staff will discuss all important aspects of your initial appointment and what you can expect.