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Sclerotherapy
Anyone had it done?
Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 4/19/06 1:24 PM

I *never* wear shorts. Never. And, apparently, I don't look at my legs much either. A couple of months ago I started meeting my DH for a power walk after my yoga class. I've been wearing long yoga pants but now it's getting really hot so I thought I'd swallow my pride and buy a pair of shorts to see if I could stand it. I wear capris to yoga but they look funny with walking shoes. The shorts look pretty cute but my veins - ack! Horrible and made even worse under fluorescent dressing room lights!

Mind you, I started getting spider veins in my late teens so they are not a complete surprise to me. I just didn't realize how bad they had become. I'm thinking I might like to have them treated. Have any of you had sclerotherapy? Did it work well? How uncomfortable was it? Will I need to rest for any period of time?

SewTabby
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SewTabby
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Date: 4/19/06 2:10 PM

Gigi,

I know how you feel. My mother and my aunt have spider veins so bad that they look like they're actually wearing little purple shorts. I am farming a healthy crop of these veins myself and so have been very interested in various treatment methods. My aunt had sclerotherapy, but it was years ago when the technology was young and the doctor used a solution that ended up staining her veins so that they actually look worse than before the procedure. My understanding is that with the saline treatment you don't have as high a risk of staining; either it clears them or it doesn't.

Here is some info for you:

http://www.infoplasticsurgery.com/bodycontouring/spidervein.html
http://www.dermnetnz.org/procedures/sclerotherapy.html

My dermatologist tells me that laser therapy is a really good option, but I understand that it only works well for small-medium sized veins. Larger veins are best improved with sclerotherapy.

Good luck and let us know if you end up doing it!

------
~Tabitha~

PegL
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PegL
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In reply to Gigi Louis


Date: 4/19/06 2:16 PM

Gigi,

Yes, I've had it done and I've had varicose vein surgery. In fact, I'm now in my third and last week of wearing the prescription support hose after my second round of sclerotherapy on April 4.

I had my first round of injections in Jan. 2005, a couple of months after the surgery. I will probably have to repeat sclerotherapy every couple of years to keep things under control.

Sclerotherapy is not particularly painful to most people but it depends on your pain threshold. To me it just felt like a little sting when they did each injection. This last round I had approximately 60 injections total on both legs. There is extensive bruising and some times knots and bumps develop under the injection site. That's all normal and goes away in time. The worse part is having to wear heavy duty prescription support hose for 3 - 4 weeks after the procedure! I started out with panty hose but quickly switched to thigh high hose as these things are thick and get very warm. They really do help with the healing process and my surgeon requires them before he will do any treatment. (edited to add: The prescription hose my surgeon required can only be purchased with a prescription from a doctor and run about $125. a pair. Most insurance does not cover the hose.) :(

You can do anything you feel up to after the treatment as long as you're wearing the support hose. I went shopping directly after my last treatment and walked my regular 3 miles the next morning.

If you have any more specific questions, please PM me as I'd be glad to help in any way!

Peg
-- Edited on 4/19/06 2:18 PM --
-- Edited on 4/19/06 2:20 PM --

------
"I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes--and six months later you have to start all over again!"

Pfaff 2170, Pfaff 7570, Pfaff 4852, Babylock Coverstitch, Bernina 1090, Bernina 1020, Gammill Quilting machine

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 4/19/06 3:28 PM

Well, that doesn't sound too bad. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I wonder if can still go to my hot yoga class every night in Rx hose - guess I'll be needing a couple of pair, lol. Thanks for your input, I guess I'll need to schedule a consultation.

Gigi Louis
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Date: 4/19/06 3:48 PM

My son's girlfriend just told me that her mom has sclerotherapy on a pretty regular basis so I'm going to call her tomorrow to find out where she has it done.

Elona
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Date: 4/19/06 3:55 PM

Gigi, being fair and of the right genetic disposition, I have grown these little wonders (too bad they're not a cash crop!) since I was a teenager. A number of years ago, I found a dermatologist who is really good at sclerotherapy. He's a hunter, and loves to shoot, and when he a makes a really fine shot with the needle, getting the "feeder" vein, he makes delighted shooting noises ("BOOM!"), but I digress.

When I first started having this done, some of the little veins grew back, and I had to go in every spring for a couple of years, but as time has gone by, fewer and fewer have returned, so I haven't had anything done in years. My legs look better now, in that way, than they did when I was a girl!

As to the discomfort, my doc prefers saline, which stings a bit, but it's not a biggie. I usually have a bit of leakage and bruising after a session, and although my doc is quite casual about it all, and really doesn't think his patients need any special stockings, I bring some cheap support pantyhose with me, and put them on when I dress. I think it reduces the rather small amount of discomfort, and it definitely helps hold the bandaids in place. I usually only wear the stockings one night or maybe the next day after that. In fact, I have gone to the gym the next day (wearing full-length tights), and my doc actually encourages that. For me, it takes about three weeks for the slight bruising, etc., to fade. Some people take longer; some less.

Once, I did try a laser for these veins, and for me, it was not a good experience. The laser "explodes" the venules and the pigment scatters, and with my particular coloring, I had a black bruise that lasted months. That certainly may not be a common response, though.

On the whole, I have found the sclerotherapy thing to be fast, efficient, and relatively cheap. I have been very pleased with it.

Tailypo
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Tailypo
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Date: 4/19/06 9:54 PM

Gigi -- I had sclerotherapy several years ago (have had spider veins since I was 16, and am very, very pale so they really show up). It was painful but not brutal -- it stung.

However, my spider veins came back.

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messymethodsewing.wordpress.com

KimB

KimB
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Date: 4/19/06 11:19 PM

I had laser treatment of several patches of spider veins on my legs and am happy with the results. They aren't all totally gone, but my doctor said it would take at least a month for the full results. My veins were small and the laser treatment was not really painful, it feels like a rubber band snapping. Which sounds fine, until it happens over and over and over. It took a while to get used to it, then I was fine.

My doctor told me that the limitation on laser therapy is that it heats the blood in the veins. When the veins get large, it's simply too painful...so for larger veins, she uses sclerotherapy.

--Kim

PegL
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In reply to Tailypo


Date: 4/19/06 11:22 PM

Sclerotherapy treats only those veins that are currently visible; it does nothing to permanently alter the venous system or prevent new veins from surfacing in the future.

I was told that I would probably have to repeat the procedure every couple of years or so. The joys of heredity!

Peg

------
"I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes--and six months later you have to start all over again!"

Pfaff 2170, Pfaff 7570, Pfaff 4852, Babylock Coverstitch, Bernina 1090, Bernina 1020, Gammill Quilting machine

sewdance
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Date: 4/19/06 11:44 PM

Do most insurance companies cover these procedures or are they considered "Cosmetic"?

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