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Old 04-02-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
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Unhappy Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

I finally decided to have my spider veins treated. I went to a top vascular surgeon in my area. Looking at my legs, he said that I did not need an ultrasound since he thought my spider veins were relatively minor. Visit #1 was great - very little pain during the procedure. He concentrated mostly above the knee and did a bit below the knee as well. After that first session, I was pretty bruised but the bruising faded over the course of 6 weeks and within 2 months I was comfortable wearing shorts with a little bit of cover-up below the knee. The results were truly amazing - I was almost completely clear above the knee! So, I went for a second round, this time concentraing solely below the knee. For some reason, this session hurt like mad! In addition, I had some pretty significant bruising. It has been almost 3months now and much of the bruising has not completely faded. The first 4-6weeks I saw significant fading in spots but after that the fading was incredibly slow. On my right leg, I still have light bluish marks. On my left leg, I have some very red splotchy areas that are interspersed with light bluish marks and some new little spider veins and a brown streak (just lovely). This looks worse than my legs did before I went for session #2. I went back to the doctor last week to ask him if this was "normal" and he said that the bluish marks were actually new little spider vein clusters and that the other areas would fade over the next 6 months. I asked him if he could treat the new spider vein clusters and he said "I can try" which didn't give me much confidence. Honestly, the blue areas to me just look like blue areas - if you run your finger across the skin you can see some very fine reddish veins below the blue. Sigh... has anyone experienced this before. I would not mind this outcome if I knew it could be treated at some point and that I could successfully continue with the sclerotherapy. BTW, I asked him why this happened and he said that everyone responds differently to sclerotherapy and you just never know.

 
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

Letudo:
This is so co-incidental. I am actually getting my spider veins done next week. I had them done 4 years ago with a combination of laser and injections. I also used a vascular surgeons office. It was the PA who does them. I am going back to the same person again but he moved from one vascular surgeons office to another and now he only does injections. The reasons that I am going again is because you always get new ones. So four years later I need it all done again. But in answer to your questions, I remember having some brown spots that took a long time to go away. One of them I think took almost a year. I don't remember the blue color that you are talking about. If I did have that it probably went away quick because I think I would remember. Did your doctor wrap your legs after the treatment and did he tell you that you must wear support hose after the treatment for as long as possible? My dr insists on support hose not only after the treatment but he feel people with out problem should wear support hose all the time. I do not do that. They are a pain in the neck to put on and take off. I live in the NY area. If you put shorts on already, I suspect that you live in a warm climate. Which would mean that you would not want to be wearing support hose. I would love to hear back from you. Good luck. LaLa

 
Old 04-02-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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Re: Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

Quote:
Originally Posted by lala52 View Post
Letudo:
This is so co-incidental. I am actually getting my spider veins done next week. I had them done 4 years ago with a combination of laser and injections. I also used a vascular surgeons office. It was the PA who does them. I am going back to the same person again but he moved from one vascular surgeons office to another and now he only does injections. The reasons that I am going again is because you always get new ones. So four years later I need it all done again. But in answer to your questions, I remember having some brown spots that took a long time to go away. One of them I think took almost a year. I don't remember the blue color that you are talking about. If I did have that it probably went away quick because I think I would remember. Did your doctor wrap your legs after the treatment and did he tell you that you must wear support hose after the treatment for as long as possible? My dr insists on support hose not only after the treatment but he feel people with out problem should wear support hose all the time. I do not do that. They are a pain in the neck to put on and take off. I live in the NY area. If you put shorts on already, I suspect that you live in a warm climate. Which would mean that you would not want to be wearing support hose. I would love to hear back from you. Good luck. LaLa
Hi There - Thanks for responding so rapidly! Interesting that you mention support hose. My doctor ace bandaged my legs (very tightly - ouch), told me to elevate them for 24 hours, and to then take the bandages off and resume normal activity. I thought this was so odd since I had read on so many sclerotherapy sights that many doctors require support hose for several days and/or walking around a lot. When I asked my doctor about the support hose he said that this technique was no longer used for those with minor vein issues (as opposed to major varicose veins). I did look around a bit more and found some sclerotherapy sites that did say that compression is no longer used in all cases. But perhaps that did have something to do with it. I do live in a warm climate (North Carolina) and am sort of blue that, at this point, my legs are not shorts-worthy. I was so looking forward to wearing shorts this summer! But, again, if I just knew for sure that my marks would eventually fade and that I could go on to get rid of the additional veins, I would be a very happy camper. I wish you the best of luck with your treatments! And thanks very much for telling me that the brown streak faded, even if it did take a year. That makes me hopeful. One more thing - in general, I am quick to get black and blue marks and they are slow to fade so i am hoping this is par for the course for me. I was vacationing in Amsterdam 3 summers ago and someone accidently pushed me into a bike rack. I had an enormous black and blue mark that lasted about 4 or 5 months!

 
Old 04-03-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

Letudo:
I have heard of some drs. not requiring the support hose. The one I use does feel it is necessary. Not only during treatment, but he feels that if you are prone to spider veins or varicose veins that you should wear support hose at all times. It is unrealistic, I feel. But my mother had varicose veins and she wore support hose as much as possible. I think I remember that her legs hurt a lot. Maybe thats why she wore them. She did not have surgery on them. My mother, unllike me, was not very vane (lol). It seems to me that you easily bruise. I think I do also, but I will see what happens this time. As I said, the last time was laser and injections. This time is only injections. What did you have? I dont have a clear memory of how long it took to be completely clear of bruises but I do know that my dr always pushed starting treatment in the fall so that by the summer most bruising would be gone. I was not feeling good in the fall with all other kinds of issues.I still don't feel good but I am doing it anyway. I have been on other boards as well as this with issues of CFS and thyroid issues and lots of stomach issues. Maybe IBS or candida, (overgrowth of yeast in the intestine). So I procrastinated. Now that the weather is getting nice I all of a sudden realize how bad they are looking. I probably will not be able to get rid of them all by the summer. I am hoping I can do a few treatments on the really bad ones and then resume in the fall. If you don't mind my asking, how much is your dr charging you? Mine in $250.00 a treatment. Which for the NY area is actually pretty reasonable. Oh, also, I just remembered you mentioned the ace bandages. Yes, he did that and I had to elevate the legs for about a day and then go back to normal activity. Just the same as your dr. said. Anyway, I will keep you posted. My appointment is Thursday. I do think all your bruising will go away. It might just take time. By the way, what is the weather in NC? I have never been to NC. I am thinking about going to SC this summer. To Charleston. I hear great things about that area. I might take my son (20yr old) for a few days. Have you ever been there? Well I have to go food shopping now for a few things I need for Easter tomorrow. Have a nice holiday and I will talk to you soon. LaLa

 
Old 04-06-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
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Re: Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

The brown mark will fade but is does take a long time. Some DR. do the hose and compression and some don't (if you have just a lot of small ones)The reason for them(hose) is the solution that they inject they are trying to keep in the vein and not come back out where they inject . So if you stand with big veins you have a lot more pressure but the little ones not so much so it dosn't really matter. The injecting and bruising in itself can cause more veins so will have to have those done. I would find some one who does both laser and injections. Laser for tiny ones like the blue which the needle is to big to find a vein to get into. And take vitaman c everday it seems to help a lot for some people. Sorry to say this is an endless thing for most people (Like the dentist)you have to go for redo every year because most people will continue to get new ones so the most you can hope for it to keep them under controll.But I did want to add if you are getting bad brusing you might want to go some where else as this will cause more and maybe he is not taking great care of where he is injecting or the solution he is using is to strong for you. (there are differant kinds and some work better for some people) I would ask him what is using and if you go to someone else have them use something else and see if you get better results. I would think Vein DR. is big money and repeat business is good for them so they want you to keep coming back one way or another. Find one you trust out there as there and a huge differance as to results you can get from one to another. When he does your veins (watch) see if the solution is going in the vein and he or she is not missing the mark more than not. And if you have a lot of veins and you get to a DR. and he pulls out one syringe and does like 5 pokes and he or shes done and charges you 300 dollars run don't walk outa there.And don't be afaid to ask questions Like.... What solution,what kind of laser,how many cc's per session or is a session by min or how much solution per session. Its your money!

 
Old 04-24-2010, 04:33 PM   #6
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Update on my bruised legs

Just thought I would give you all an update on my bruised legs. After I posted to this site, I started googling for a way to clear the discoloration. It seems that doctors in the UK tell their sclerotherapy patients to start taking homeopathic arnica pellets and high doses of vitamin c with bioflavonioids. So, I started doing just that about 3 weeks ago, along with rubbing arnica cream into the bruised areas. I did not really expect this to work since you are supposed to use arnica right before a procedure or right after you get a bruise. However, I was shocked that a few areas started clearing! I noticed it when I looked at one of the bruises, to my horror saw 2 bruises instead of one, and then realized that the one big bruise I had was now breaking apart and giving the appearance of 2 separate bruises. I began to see regular colored skin in the midst of other bruised areas as well. After 2 weeks, I stopped taking the pellets and vitamin C, and became less diligent with the cream. The clearing stopped. So, now I am back with the pellets and the C and the cream, hoping to keep this going. It is not a miracle - that is, the bruises are not disappearing over night. But, it is progress, albeit slow progress. Oh, and I recently talked to someone who went to my doctor for spider vein removal and she had the same thing happen to her. She said it took 5 months for her bruises to clear. Yet, another patient that I know who had her varicose veins removed and had some significant bruises after that had her bruises clear in a matter osf weeks. So, I really don't know if it is the doctor's technique or the variability across his patients with regard to how easily and rapidly they heel.

 
Old 05-02-2010, 06:43 AM   #7
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Re: Update on my bruised legs

Letudo:

I know about arnica cream and the pellets. I do believe in natural ways of healing over taking medicine by far, but it does take longer to heal. I started my therapy 4 weeks ago. My dr did one leg and week then the next week the second week then back to the first leg etc. He alternates legs. I was pretty bruised also but within two week the bruises go away. I did twice on both legs so far. I am going for one more on the right leg on thursday and that will be it until the fall because he insists on wearing the support hose and it is may 2 and the weather is getting really nice and I don't want to wear these things anymore. He says at minimum I have to wear them for two weeks after each treatment. Which means I have another 2 1/2 weeks to wear them. I have a party to go to on sat that I will not wear them that day. How many treaments did you need? Let me know your status. Speak soon. LaLa

 
Old 06-11-2010, 01:53 PM   #8
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Re: Update on my bruised legs

Quote:
Originally Posted by lala52 View Post
Letudo:

I know about arnica cream and the pellets. I do believe in natural ways of healing over taking medicine by far, but it does take longer to heal. I started my therapy 4 weeks ago. My dr did one leg and week then the next week the second week then back to the first leg etc. He alternates legs. I was pretty bruised also but within two week the bruises go away. I did twice on both legs so far. I am going for one more on the right leg on thursday and that will be it until the fall because he insists on wearing the support hose and it is may 2 and the weather is getting really nice and I don't want to wear these things anymore. He says at minimum I have to wear them for two weeks after each treatment. Which means I have another 2 1/2 weeks to wear them. I have a party to go to on sat that I will not wear them that day. How many treaments did you need? Let me know your status. Speak soon. LaLa
Thought I would fill you in on the continuing saga of my attempt to clear up the spider veins on my leg. After doing a lot of research, I decided to try the Veinwave treatment. This is a treatment that my sclerotherapy doctor recommended to me (after I went back to him, showing him that the hypertonic saline injections he gave me made my veins below my knee much worse). This doctor did not offer it but I found 2 doctors on the coast of NC (2 hours from where I live) that do and decided to go one based on his excellent reputation (double board certified in phlebology, vascular surgeon, etc.) and the fact that I know someone who knows him and has only wonderful things to say. Apparently, veinwave has been used in the UK for years but it was only recently approved by the FDA for use in this country. The doctor I went to has been using it for a while now and said that he has excellent results, in combination with sclerotherapy. The way they do it is to do the veinwave first and then get the deeper veins later with sclerotherapy. They do not use hypertonic saline because they do not like the results and also because it is painful. They will soon start using polidacanol (just approved by FDA). Anyway, I went for a consultation last week, really liked this doctor (great listener, did not rush me, did not give me the long reheased shpeel that most doctors launch into while looking bored out of their minds, answered all of my questions, seemed very gentle and patient, etc.) I went back for a patch test today. The machine looks like a rectangular blue and white plastic box that has a device attached to it that looks like a large pen. An object that looks like a needle is attached to the tip of the pen device. The doctor did not actually do my procedure. A PA did. I was a bit surprised by that and when I told her she said that she could get the doctor to have him do it but after talking with her I felt confident that she knew what she was doing and let her do the patch test. What she did was to take the "needle" and touch it to my skin, maybe penetrating like 1/16 of a inch below the surface - just barely. It felt like a tiny pin *****. Heat flowed through this device. I felt no heat - just the pin *****. Let me tell you that, after sclerotherapy with hypertonic saline, this was a walk in the park! Just lots of tiny pin *****s as she followed the lines of the veins. She wore a huge helmet with a special light and magnifier so that she could see through to the different levels of veins. I will say that, after she went at it for about 5 minutes, because the area she was doing the patch test on was very dense with fine veins, the area started to feel tender, especially around the shin bone. So I asked her to give me a 5 second break, and asked her to do this every few minutes. But, all in all, this was easy-peasy with regard to pain. She said that the ankles and the knee can be a bit more painful because there is little cushioning. OK, so she did my patch test for about 10 minutes. When she was done, I had a look. The area, which was a bit larger than the size of a quarter, was solid pink - not surprising since she had been going at it with a needle - and she assured me this was normal and would fade in 20 minutes to a few hours or so, depending on my level of sensitivity. It is now 3 hours later, btw, and the area is still pink but much a less intense pink than it was initially. What else did I see? Now, I don't want to get all excited because the area is still very pink so it is hard to see what exactly is going on *but* it looks like all the veins in that area are gone. She told me not to get too excited because in the next day or so I would develop what look like "cat scratches" in the area so that the area would look worse before it would look better. She said that in a few weeks we could see what the outcome really was. So, I am reserving judgement for now but I will keep you all posted. A few things you should know if you are thinking of getting this done 1) if you have applied self-tanning cream then you cannot have this done for 2 weeks. 2) If you have a spray tan then you cannot have this done for 4 - 6 weeks. This is because spray tan typically has a dye in it that, combined with the heat from the procedure, could potentially give you a nice tattoo. 3) If you have an allergy to nickel (as I do) then make sure you tell the person actually administering the procedure this so that they can switch to a gold needle. Else they will use a nickel needle. Even if this information about your nickel allery is on your chart, tell the person doing the procedure this, as a reminder 4) you cannot apply moisturizer on your legs the morning of the procedure. If you do, they will not do the procedure. So, I will go back in 4 weeks and, if all is well from the patch test, I will get the whole shebang. Then i will wait 4 more weeks to go back for another veinwave treatment. After 2 veinwave treatments, the plan would then be to treat the deeper, feeder veins with polidacanol injections. So, that's the deal. As promised, I will keep you updated. (BTW, the patch test is not mandatory. I just asked them to do that for me since it's better to be safe than sorry with these things.)

 
Old 06-14-2010, 07:11 PM   #9
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Re: Update on my bruised legs

Hi Letudo:
I was happy to see an update from you. That new treatment sounds good. I will have to look into it. I just did two rounds on my left leg and three rounds on my right leg of the saline injections and am very dissappointed. I did this 4 years ago with very good results with the same dr. The only thing different was that the last time he did injections and laser. He told me he does not do the laser any more because the injections are better. He is also with a new practice and I wonder if the new practice just does not have the laser and he is making excuses although I always trusted this guy. I spent $1,250.00 so far and have very little results. I stopped because it was coming to warm weather and I did not want to wear the support hose anymore. I was going to continue in the fall for a few more treatments but I am not sure what to do anymore because of the poor results. I don't want to waste anymore money. I might call him and discuss it with him or go in and talk to him and see what he has to say. In the meantime, I am going to look into the treatment you mentioned. When are you going to do it? Do you need to wear support hose? Also, what kind of cost is it. I wish you luck and please keep me posted. If I find out anything I will keep you posted. Bye for now. LaLa

 
Old 06-14-2010, 07:46 PM   #10
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Re: Update on my bruised legs

Hi There LaLa52,

I am so sorry that your latest treatment is not what you were hoping for. It's strange because in some ways my experience was similar to yours. The first time I had sclerotherapy was in Sept of 2009. I had it primarily above my knees and a bit below the knees. The doctor used hypertonic saline. There was little pain and it worked so beautifully that I was able to wear shorts with a little bit of cover up over the Xmas holidays in Florida. Then I had another round in Jan of 2010 - same doctor, and this time primarily below the kneees. Very painful and, as you know, not only was it not successful but made matters worse. Sigh... how could the same doctor, same sclerosant, same office have produced such different outcomes? This is obviously less than an exact science! OK - as for this new vein wave procedure, this is what I have experienced thus far: For the patch test, they used a gold needle tip due to my nickel allergy. They asked me where I wanted them to do the patch test and I had them do an area that was made worse by the last round of sclerotherapy (by "made worse" I mean that after the sclerotherapy I had more red spider veins than I had before the sclerotherapy, and they were quite squiggly and a bit dense). The area worked on was a larger than the size of a quarter. Took maybe 6 or 7 minutes. Consisted of the doctor touching the needle tip to my skin, maybe penetraing about 1/16th of an inch below surface (I mean, just barely). So it felt like many tiny pin *****s (*****....*****....*****). Most of them were not painful at all. Some of them were *****lier than others. I would say that the area started feeling tender a few minutes into it. However, was a total walk in the park compared to sclerotherapy. After the procedure, there are no compression hose and there are no bandages or tape. In other words, you simply walk out of there. At first, the area was a solid bright pink. A few hours later it faded to a solid soft pink. By the next day it looked like I had been scratched by a cat, which is what they tell you it is supposed to look like. It looked like wherever they *****ed me there was now a little teeny tiny scab. So, I had about 60 little teeny tiny scab marks and the entire effect really did appear to be from a cat scratch. That was on Friday afternoon and right now it is Monday evening. I have been taking photos of my leg every day to document this (I did that with sclerotherapy as well) and the scabs are still there. I have been told that they will disappear over the course of the next 3 weeks. When I look at the area, I can see the little scabs but I cannot see the spider veins anymore. Now, that absolutely may be because the scabs are obscuring them! So, the jury really is out at this point. I'll let you know in 3 weeks! If all goes well, then in 4 weeks I am back to the doctor for a real session in which both legs are done. I have been told that after the first session, I should not necessarily expect all the spider veins to disappear and I will most likely need a 2nd session. In addition, to get at the deeper veins (still spider veins but a bit larger than the veins at the very surface) I will still need a round of sclerotherapy. However, this time they will use polidacanol which has just been approved by the FDA and is supposed to be a better product than the saline. Honestly, I am much more sceptical about all of this now so I will wait and see. I just have to laugh when I read that "sclerotherapy is the gold standard treatment for spider veins" because it certainly did not work that way for me. But I suppose that everyone is different and that it works for most people. Finally, as for cost, I cannot remember the exact cost but I believe it is about $150 per session which is considerably less than the sclerotherapy sessions. Also, one more thing: the marketing around this is that you can have this done on your lunch break or go to a party or to the beach afterwards, and the only thing that will be different when you leave the doctor's office is that you will leave without your spider veins. Uhmm.. I do not agree with that. Like I said, after the procedure, I had bright solid pink areas covering the entire region that was worked on. I cannot imagine going to the beach or to a party in a dress since my legs would be covered with big bright pink splotches. This might not be the case for everyone but I have read a few "what you should expect after the procedure" websites and have found this information to be correct - that is, they say that your legs might have red rashy areas immediately after the procedure. And for several days or perhaps weeks afterwards, your legs will be covered with "cat scratches". Just so attractive to look at (:-)).

Last edited by letudo; 06-14-2010 at 07:52 PM.

 
Old 07-06-2010, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

Just a quick question for those of you who have had sclerotherapy:

My vascular doctor did a "test area" for me last week, because of my apprehension about having sclerotherapy done. I guess she thought this would ease me into it.

Anyway, she injecting a thin blue vein on my outer left thigh. The surface bruising and discoloration went away, but I still feel pain. Like a bruise under my skin almost like it hurts when I push on the muscle there. And my thigh hurts a little when I walk. Is this normal. It's been 6 days since she did it. If it is normal- when will the discomfort go away?

Last edited by LPF77; 07-06-2010 at 10:53 AM.

 
Old 07-07-2010, 06:22 AM   #12
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Re: Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

LPF:
I think it is normal. I had injections and laser 4 1/2 years ago and it was very successful. I remember having some discomfort but not for very long. Give it a little more time. I don't think you have to worry about it. Is it a reputable person doing it? I had injections done again this spring that just past and I was dissappointed. I had three treatments on one leg and two on the other with no results. I am actually in the process of trying to get my money back. I don't know if it will happen. Anyway, I had bruising for a few weeks and maybe just a little soreness on the touch in some locations. Good luck and let me know how it is going. LaLa

 
Old 07-08-2010, 07:17 AM   #13
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Re: Sclerotherapy: lots of discoloration - blue marks

lala52:

Thanks for your reply!

Yes, very reputable vascular surgeon who did it. I'm so nervous about a blood clot for some reason. I know it's highly unlikely with sclero, but...

I called the office this morning to tell them about the soreness I'm having. They didn't seem concerned. Just said that if my leg felt warm or swelled to call.

I just didn't expect it to hurt through to my muscle especially when she just did a tiny little test area. Also, another weird thing, she did the test on my thigh and every morning since I've woken up with a horrible pain down where my leg meets the top of my foot. So odd! Oh well, I hope it's nothing and it goes away soon. Having major second thoughts on ever having any sclero done again.

 
Old 08-14-2010, 05:36 AM   #14
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Update on my bruised legs - trying veinwave

Hi All,

I had my first veinwave test patch about 8 weeks ago. They did it on an area where I had had sclerotherapy and, as a result, developed significant matting. When I went for my veinwave test patch 8 weeks ago, I asked them to do the test on that area. They did and, as a result, the veins in the area became much lighter (pink instead of red) and the veins within the matted area each became much thinner. Still, they did not disappear (not a surprise since I was told that I would probably need at least 2 treatments per area) but it was quite an improvement. So, yesterday I went back for another test patch in the same area (before I commit to the full treatment on both legs, I want to see if the vein wave can get rid of this stuff instead of just making it lighter - so hence, another test patch but on the same area that was test patched before). This is what I experienced this time around: first, while the first experience did not hurt very much (in fact, compared to sclerotherapy, a walk in the park) this session did hurt. I was told that vein wave often stings more the second time around. It was tolerable but, for me, it stung as badly as sclerotherapy. Everyone has a different pain threshold so it might not hurt for you and, again, the first session was very easy to get through. As for the results, I should know in a few weeks. I will keep you posted.

 
Old 08-15-2010, 07:38 AM   #15
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Re: Update on my bruised legs - trying veinwave

Letudo:
It is so frustrating to have to go through all this. I wonder why it works on some people and not on others. Like i have told you, i did this over 4 years ago and had great results and this time i did not. I actually called my dr that just did mine in April/May and told him i was very disappointed with the results. He told me to come back after the summer and they will evaluate it. I had asked for either a re-do or a refund. Anyway, let me know what happens with your new procedure. I also heard of something new but the problem is i dont remember what it was called. My friend told me she saw it on the news. It is a new solution for injections. It is in the process of getting approved here in the us. I will try to find out the name and let you know. Talk soon. Lala

 
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