I hate spiders. I scream and flinch at the sight of these eight-legged arachnid monsters. I detest the spider veins in my lower legs with equal ferocity.
Spiders of the insect kingdom can coexist with me as long as they stay outdoors. Spiders of ugly blood vessels expanding around my ankles? I thought I would have to learn to live with those as well.
Two Treatment Methods
Advancing technology means new ways to address everything medical – including unsightly veins in your legs. In the area of spider veins, there are two different treatments.
One treatment involves lasers. Sounds scary, right? What? Are they going to cut those buggers out?
Uh, no. The laser heats up the small vein and destroys it. The body reabsorbs the vein, and in four to six weeks – it’s like nothing was ever there.
The treatment I found an Amazon Local deal for involves a needle and saline solution. Not sounding better than the laser to you?
It’s called sclerotherapy. The solution is injected directly into the ugly little spider. Eventually the vein collapses and fades from view.
Yes, no immediate results from either of these procedures. Does that mean it isn’t worth the time and money? Read on.
Facing the Needle
This is an in-office procedure performed by a naturopathic doctor. I’m sure other medical doctors might also perform it, but I visited Hale Health, LLC, in Tualatin, Oregon. It’s a naturopathic clinic that treats many conditions with natural products and procedures.
The doctor was friendly and put me immediately at ease.
There was paperwork to read and complete. After quizzing me about my medical history, she discussed the procedure and the associated risks.
I asked about the solution she was injecting. She answered all my inquiries thoroughly.
Then I lay on the table (think massage table not doctor’s office table), and she began with my left ankle.
She poked a needle into my ankle repeatedly. Of course it hurt.
I’m not a needle-phobe. Do I like to be stabbed with a sharp instrument? You need to ask? I’m not crazy! I’m hardly a masochist.
Only once did it truly HURT. She shot down a bitty vein right on my right ankle bone. Needle drilling into bone? Unpleasant in the worst way.
After she drained the .5 ml vial (the scope of a single treatment), she wrapped the three areas with ace bandages. They needed to stay shaded from the sun for 48 hours – and it wasn’t even noon and I was headed out to lunch and shopping.
The sites did itch afterward. Putting ice on them took away the itch and minimized the swelling. There wasn’t much pain once the poking was finished.
Before and after photos are everyone’s favorite thing, right? I really didn’t want to put these before pictures up here. I mean, who wants to look at some old lady’s ugly legs?
However, I want to help you make informed decisions. If you’re vain about the appearance of your legs (yes, I am a victim of this shortcoming), you may want to consider having sclerotherapy – or the laser counterpart. Especially if you can get three treatments for the price of one.
As you can see, I didn’t have immediate results with my initial treatment.
Both of my ankles swelled after the procedure.
In fact, my left ankle remained swollen for several days after the injections. About half of the solution was used in that location because it had the most pronounced veins. Even ten days afterward, I had bumps on that ankle at two of the injection sites.
My second treatment was scheduled for three weeks after the first. Even as close to that date as two days prior, I wasn’t sure if my legs would be recovered from the earlier encounter with the needle.
Under the Needle – Again
Shouldn’t knowing what to expect lessen the anxiety? Somehow, it didn’t. I was subjecting myself to more puncture wounds. No, I was PAYING someone to torture me with needles.
And I couldn’t have guessed how much poking there would be.
Apparently, veins have one-way valves to help push the blood back toward the heart. And my little spiders had nested next to a couple of these.
Before the treatment could even begin, the doctor used a syringe to drain blood from the affected areas. Vampires like spiders. Who knew?
So I endured easily more than twice as many pokes as the first treatment.
At least I had pizza and a Greek salad afterward. My husband knows exactly how to bring a smile back to my face. (Yes. It’s as easy as good pizza and nutritious salad.)
My next appointment is in September. Look for part two of this story once I finish the three treatments. I’m expecting great results. AND I would never leave you wondering how things ended.
Cliff hangers are NOT my style.
Either way, you’ll know how I fared. And whether it might be a good investment for you, or not.
How do you feel about needles? Have you ever undergone “elective” procedures before? Do you consider this sort of thing “cosmetic”? Am I a vain woman to be subjecting my spiders to the needle?