I just had my second sclerotherapy procedure done, you can read about the first one here. Or I can give you a brief overview: I had a bulging vein on my upper thigh that I wanted treated….I went in…they treated everything BUT that bulging vein….after treatment you have to wear thick compression stockings for 2 weeks so it’s not something you want to do in the warmer months….two treatments are required…I needed to go back sometime this fall/winter for my 2nd treatment (which is actually going to be the first treatment for my bulging vein)…
Oh, and the procedure itself hurts….and the recovery sucks.
Here’s the “before” picture:
I made the mistake of re-reading that full post before leaving for my second procedure, which had me totally anxious as I waited for my name to be called. And yep, the procedure was just as awful as I’d remembered it. At least a hundred pokes per leg and some of them REALLY hurt. I know I have a high pain tolerance, but this is one of those procedures that almost brings me to tears. OK, I might actually get a tear or two in my eyes, but I don’t cry. It’s horrible. At one point (about 3/4 of the way through) I commented to the doctor that this really isn’t any fun. He responded that he sees all types of reactions to this procedure- some women start crying and asking him to stop after the first injection, some make it half way through the procedure then ask them to stop, some women cry through the whole procedure, some women take it like nothing is happening at all, and sometimes he can tell the patient is in pain but they tough it out (me)- I flinched on those pokes that really hurt.
If it was only a couple veins it wouldn’t be that bad…. but these people inject EVERY. SINGLE. TINY. SPIDER-VEIN. ANYPLACE. ON. BOTH. LEGS. FROM ANKLE TO UPPER THIGH. ALL THE WAY AROUND. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Even one’s you didn’t know you HAD! And there’s THREE people poking you all at the same time! Geesh!
When they were done I sat up and looked at my legs and the doctor said it looked like I’d been attacked by mosquitos. At nearly every injection site was a dime-size (or in some cases a silver dollar size) puffy red welt, with splotchy red surrounding it from all those histamines reacting. The nurses rubbed both legs with some Traumeel and Vitamin K cream and left me to put my stockings on myself, followed by the obligatory 30-minutes of walking on the treadmill (which I was happy to do so I could start reading my new book)!
I almost got up and grabbed my camera to take a picture of my hideous swollen welted legs, but didn’t. I wish I did though.
I was so achy achy achy the rest of the day. And super tired the first couple hours back at home, likely the result of crashing from the adrenaline rush of anxiety and pain! Geez.
This time they told me not to roll down my stockings and apply cream those first few days- just leave the stockings on and don’t shower for SEVENTY-TWO hours. Yuck. Good thing I wash my hair every-other-day….sometimes I can make it a day without showering. Never two, though. I ended up doing a sponge-bath and washing my hair in the sink Wednesday morning. And I savored my REAL shower Thursday morning! Which also marked the first day I could get a look at my legs and I have to say- I was suprised. They weren’t bad!!
Not NEARLY as much bruising or discoloration as before. In fact, hardly any bruising or discolored spots, except for the upper thigh vein that they use a heavier-duty solution on.
So that I don’t thoroughly gross anyone out, here’s a black and white (vs. black and blue, hee hee) photo as of day 4:
I’m curious to see how this treatment works out, and whether or not they’ll allow me a third treatment for no charge (since they didn’t treat that vein the first time like they should have). My follow up appointment is January 2nd, so I’ll know more then, hopefully.
Stay tuned. Hoping to post a great “after” picture with no more bulging vein!
UPDATE: When I went back in January they told me to wait a month or so before scheduling another treatment, just to give this treatment a chance. So I did. And on March 1st I went back in and they had me stand up this time while they treated the front of my thigh. I needed to wear a compression stocking on just that leg, which was fine. When I went in for my follow up they decided they still weren’t happy with the results on that leg so they gave it one last boost of injections and had me just wear a compression wrap for a couple weeks.
And here’s my leg today!
And the before again:
Awesome glad the last vein finally got fixed!
It only lasted for a couple years, sadly. Then it came back significantly worse and the bulging vein not only protrudes in that same spot, but runs down my thigh, along the side of my knee and down the back of my calf. It’s hideous. I’m considering writing an update to this post and showing how bad it is.
I stumbled across your blog trying to get ideas of how to style (if possible) compression stockings in warm weather. I, too, had my varicose veins removed via venous ablation and 5 years later they’re back and incredibly sore. I consider going back for another procedure but it seems like it’s just a progressive disease and they’ll recur anyway.