Tag: varicose veins

Spider (Vein) Extermination: results are in!

I made a promise to my readers. I guess I need to deliver on it. But it has to do with spider…veins.

The idea of spiders in my veins fills me with shivers of icy dread. No, anything but spiders. So creepy and crawly and hairy and AH!

But spider veins aren’t crawly or hairy at all. Creepy? Yes. And they make my skin appear crepey, as well.

This summer, I purchased a discount coupon for three injectable treatment sessions. The last week of July, I had my first appointment. You can read about it here.

Two other appointments followed at four-week intervals. When I had my final treatment in September, the doctor advised that I should wait two or three months before determining if I was pleased with the results.

The three-month marker has arrived.

Before and After Photos

Left Ankle: Before the First Treatment
Left Ankle: Before the First Treatment

Left ankle four months after two treatments
Left ankle four months after two treatments

 

Right ankle three months after three treatments
Right ankle three months after three treatments
Right ankle before the treatments
Right ankle before the treatments

My Results

My results are mixed.

The area of the worst spider (vein) infestation remains an unsightly mess of blue webbing. (Blue because that is un-oxygenated blood pooling in those areas.)

However, my other ankle responded favorably. No, the veins didn’t disappear completely, but they’re much less pronounced. I’m hoping a good tan will disguise them completely.

Obviously, I can’t give a glowing report touting the wonders of sclerotherapy.

You won’t hear me condemning it either.

In some cases, this may be the most affordable course of action. In other cases, you should spend the money on something else.

My Recommendation

Given the price and level of inconvenience, including pain and after-effects, of sclerotherapy, I do have a recommendation.

It’s worth a try. At least two of the areas I had treated look like successes.

However, if you have an over-saturated area (like my left ankle), this might not be the pathway toward beautification. Since I have a hideous varicose vein in that leg, that was an added complication (which I wrote about here).

The rate of $100 per treatment seems slightly steep to me, since the appointments last twenty minutes and the vial of solution this buys is minuscule. The $90 per treatment “deal” I got by packaging three treatments with the coupon was a 55 percent savings over the usual price.

Needless to say, I’m tight with my money. I would never have tried this procedure at $600 for three treatments.

I also feel sclerotherapy would have been more helpful if I didn’t wait until my veins had ten years to create webs and settle in.

If you have the money and your veins are a fairly new addition to your legs’ landscape, give this treatment plan a try.

One bad vein leads to another

Fight age. yeah right

The leading cause of ugly and bulging veins is age. Apparently, it’s past time for me to face facts. Spider veins could be caused by varicose veins, and all of it is a result of nearing the half-century point in life.

I’m old. There. I admitted it. Are you happy now?

I’m not. Most of the time my brain thinks I’m 38 or thereabouts. Or I have the wisdom of a white-haired sage, but not the years or wrinkles to pair with it.

Yeah. Denial. I’m pretty good at it.

In July, I began a three-treatment therapy for the spider veins in my ankles and calves. Sclerotherapy. Read about it here.

After my second treatment, I learned about the miracle-working properties of castor oil. If you missed that, click here.

My third treatment was on September 15. I know, a whole month, and I’m just now sharing the results.

Even better: I’m not really sharing the results.

Bad Veins

I may have mentioned that my left ankle is hideously marked by spider veins. It was so nice when someone commented that the picture I posted of that offensive appendage “couldn’t possibly be” mine.

Oh, yes. Whether I want to claim it or not, this disgusting exhibit of tiny blood vessels is mine.

Left Ankle: Before the First Treatment
Left Ankle: Before the First Treatment

I noticed some good results in my right ankle from the treatments, but I noticed something terrible in my left.

The veins seemed closer to the skin than ever. Furthermore, the stretched-beyond-recognition varicose vein in my calf was puffing up like a territorial cat.

Worse. It popped out –would you believe it-in the joint on the top of my ankle.

Alittle bit of medical information might be helpfule here. Varicose veins enlarge because blood is pooling in them, rather than being pumped back to the heart. They appear blue because veins carry blood that is low in oxygen, blue until the big Os hit it and then it sees red.

Spider veins appear in areas where there is too much blood with nothing to transport it back to the big veins who will send it off to the heart for recharging.

Does anyone see a correlation? Varicose veins mean blood is pooling. Spider veins mean blood is pooling.

So those little spiders might relieve some of the pressure on the non-elastic varicose.

And I so thoughtlessly stomped out those spiders with my prickly needle treatments. Big Sister Vare made her irritation known.

Treatments

There are ways to treat varicose veins. For instance, I’m supposed to wear compression stockings to help encourage the blood back up toward the heart.

Other ways to treat these unsightly big girls is sclerotherapy (but this wasn’t an option offered at Hale Health where I had my treatments), laser surgeries, vein stripping and vein surgery.

No, I didn’t sign up for it.

The medical procedures could be covered by insurance if your doctor refers you. The doctor’s questions:

“Are you in pain?”

“Have you been wearing the compression stockings?”

Since only negative answers are true for me, having the medical plan cover the cost isn’t going to happen.

There are places that will do it and offer payment plans. Supposedly, they even charge someone who walks in with cash a discounted price. After all, the insurance company can afford to pay whatever they demand, right?

Is it any wonder the cost for medical insurance keeps rising while the benefits fall?

Not chasing that bunny trail.

What I meant to tell my readers is: I won’t even know if the sclerotherapy would have cured those webs from my left ankle.

Dr. Brooks and I agreed that dissolving those little guys may have been what pushed the varicose vein to bulge where it had not previously been noticeable.

This is the left foot after two treatments.
This is the left foot after two treatments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all that money, time, inconvenience and a small amount of discomfort, the ugliest duckling remains. It sucked up a gluttinous portion of magic serum during two visits, and as you can see, was still an unsightly mess.

Varicose veins feed those ugly spiders. If you take their spider outlets away, they bulge out in ugliness. One bad vein leads to another. Go figure.