I should have really written about this a long time ago, but the fact that summer is in the air and I feel the need to show off my legs, the (painful) memories of summer 2007 came swirling back into my head.
As you might remember, I spent many weeks last year in London and Paris, reporting on the latest beauty trends for those two über-magnificent cities.
I have to say that I inherited my love of cooking and my need to feed people from my maternal grandmother. I also inherited something else from her and that would be my varicose veins. I remember as a child, that one night my grandmother woke up in pain and screaming because some of her veins had erupted. I was fairly young, but I can still remember her cry and I can still see the blood on the wooden floor in her bedroom.
It was only in my late 20s that I realized that I too would be subject to varicose veins. For the first few years, I didn’t think much about them, but slowly and surely a few of them became more and more prominent as I approached my mid 30s.
Last summer, I decided to do something about it because I didn’t want to walk the streets of Paris or London with my veins popping out.
I’d been eyeing the EndoVenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) surgery that zaps the vein and collapses it, but given that it starts at about $2,800 PER leg, I decided to find a more affordable solution. During my assessment for EVLT, my doctor had mentioned sclerotherapy as an “in between” treatment (you pay about $50-$100 per treatment vial). Since I didn’t have the money for the laser surgery, I thought that sclerotherapy could help.
The best way to describe sclerotherapy is someone poking a needle in your veins. Getting a shot in a part of your body where there is a lot of body fat is not too bad, but on your ankles, around your knees on your lower thighs where there is little body fat … it feels like torture. Feeling the needle poking your veins is not the worst of it … once the chemical solution that is supposed to suppress the veins shoots into your system it feels like pouring vinegar on an open wound. Since you pay for the treatment per vial used, you doctor will usually inject your legs many times … which means many opportunities to be in pain.
By the time my treatments were done the paper that covered the table I was lying on was drenched in sweat. To help me cope with the pain, I sang my way through the treatment and my doctor mentioned that no other patient had sung for him before. I’d love to say that I serenaded my doctor with a beautiful Alicia Keys-like voice … but I cannot carry a tune to save my life.
After the treatment, your legs are bandaged for a good 24 hours. I basically left my doctor’s office looking like a mummy from the waist down. Here’s another thing to add to the story … you will feel the solution travelling inside the veins for a while after the sclerotherapy treatment and that makes walking quite the difficult challenge.
So did sclerotherapy work for me?
This is exactly why I decided to write this post … I wanted to share my story.
In my case, I saw little improvement. The one thing I do remember is the bruising, which I still have. My legs were covered with black and blue bruises that lasted for months. In fact, this morning I noticed that one of the large bruises I had on the side of my knee is finally fading away … almost one year after the treatment. Now, this could be because I had a darker complexion, but I’ve got to admit that going through all that pain to end up with so many bruises was not pleasant and defeated the purpose of having nice legs.
In the end, I’ll continue saving for the EndoVenous Laser Treatment (EVLT). I know there will be some pain involved, but nothing like the sclerotherapy and I should not bruise as much and the results of the laser treatment will be permanent.
You can still read all about my European beauty vacation:
Photo of legs and red sandals by Bludgeoner86
Photo of legs with argyle socks by Mezone
Tags: Anti Aging Lotion
Trackback from your site.