Sclerotherapy perform on both legs (various locations) on August 31, 2009, for spider veins.
I chose my doctor after visiting a neighboring plastic surgery clinic and feeling very unsure about their way of performing the procedure. At this other clinic, a nurse (who didn't seem like she could even be bothered with me during the consult) would have been performing my Sclerotherapy injections. That just wasn't the environment where I wanted this done, especially since I was sure I also had some varicose veins issues as well. So I found a vascular specialist in the next building over and went with them for my procuedure.
At my consult, after taking off my pants and shoes (undergarments & top remain on), I draped the sheet they gave me over my lap and the doctor was in within just 2-3 minutes. He introduced himself, asked what I was looking to get treated, and then had me lift the sheet up so he could see my lower legs. And sure enough, after looking at my legs for just a minute he asked, "So how long have your legs been swollen like this?" Now I hadn't realized that my legs were swollen (I've always had muscular calves anyway) and though I was just developing the dreaded cankles that you can develop with weight gain and age. But no, the Doc said that I might have an underlying vein reflux issue and said that I should be scheduled for an ultrasound, to be done along with the Sclerotherapy.
A week later I was back for my Sclerotherapy injections and my leg ultrasound. Sure enough, the ultrasound results showed that I had reflux issues, and that was going to need varicose vein surgery done on both legs, to combat the swelling and heaviness I had felt in the legs. I'll talk about the varicose procedure more in December after I have had both legs done, and just wanted to mention it briefly to show how thorough my doctor was. A major improvement over the nurse at the last place I had visited.
So after my ultrasound was done that day I headed into the procedure room and changed one last time. This time I changed into a funny looking pair of blue surgical paper shorts, and then waited for the Doc to come in and take care of the injections. My Doc and the nurse then came in (Oh...there is always a nurse in the room with you & the doc at this place, no matter what is going on), had me lay back, and then prepped the area for the injections. I think they just cleaned the area with alcohol pads, maybe iodine...not sure because I was too excited at this point and just not paying attention! My Doc then took one last look at the areas I wanted him to focus on, the larger, more ugly spider vein patches, and then got to work.
I have to say that the procedure was almost virtually painless. I felt a slight pin prick at each injection sight and some stinging when the solution was injected in, but that was it for the most part, and nothing I couldn't handle. I actually thought it hurt less than a flu shot to tell you the truth! There were two areas that hurt a little more than the rest due to the location: the inside of my thigh (which is a sensitive area on most people) and the inside of my left ankle (due to the thin skin) but even those areas weren't unbearable. Now there were a few smaller spider veins that the Doc couldn't get to due to the time constrants of the procudure, but those are areas that I hardly notice anyway. What he focused on instead were the six or seven spider vein clumps on each of my legs that bother me most, and that I felt most self conscious about. My Doc really listened to me when I pointed out those areas, and that really meant a lot to know that he was focusing on what mattered to me most, and not what mattered to his checkbook. :)
After the procedure the nurse brought me a pair of thigh-high compression stockings (woohoo sexy! LOL) and told me to leave them on for the next 24 hrs (no showering) and to them take them off the following morning to shower. After that, I was to wear them for the next three weeks, and I could just put them on each morning after I showered. I was told to keep wearing them like that until my three week follow-up.
When I took the stockings off the next morning I could alerady see a major improvement in the areas that were injected. I had no bruising, just some redness, and no swelling at the injections sites. My legs felt a little stiff and itchy until day three...but that was probably a combination of the shots AND the "sexy" compression stockings.
Over the next week's time the redness disappeared and there was a little bit of minor bruising that developed inside the veins themselves, but it was gone in just 2 or 3 days. By the end of week two, I could really begin to envision what the final product would look like...and I was thrilled even at that point.
I went back for my follow-up appointment this week, on September 21st, 2009. In two of the injected areas, the spiderveins have not completely disappeared, but my Doc said they will keep fading with time. Even so, they are so light at this point that a little self tanner would probably make them completely invisible. (If they don't fade however and I need another set of injections I'll report back here to keep everyone updated).
Overall I'm really very, very pleased with these results!! At 28, my spider veins weren't as bad as they could have been, but that was the point...I didn't want to form anymore of them, or have them get any worse!! They had already multiplied over the last few years due to some weigh gain/weight loss that I went through, and I wanted to cut it off there before I had any more develop.
I recommend my doctor, I recommend this procedure and I thought it was completely worth it in every single way! Good luck with your own procedures, no matter what kind they are, and look for more reviews from me on other procedures in the coming months. <3 NavyGal :)