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Cosmetic / Plastic Surgery Message Board

Cosmetic / Plastic Surgery Board Index


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[/QUOTE]
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 prick. Heat flowed through this device. I felt no heat - just the pin prick. Let me tell you that, after sclerotherapy with hypertonic saline, this was a walk in the park! Just lots of tiny pin pricks 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.)
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 pricks (prick....prick....prick). Most of them were not painful at all. Some of them were pricklier 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 pricked 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 (:-)).
Hi All,

This is my continuing spider vein saga... after having 2 veinwave sessions in Feb and April of 2010 in Wilmington NC to treat additional and significant veins that appeared after a doctor in Cary, NC gave me very painful saline injections in Jan of 2010, I went for another veinwave session in Wilmington plus, this time, polidaconal sclerotherapy as well and voila! The additional veins that had appeared totally faded out! It was amazing! I was left with a slightly pinkish area of skin which compared to what I had was really great. After that session, I went back to the Wilmington doctor to have other areas of my legs treated with veinwave. I counted 350 zaps. They hurt but I squeezed two squeezeballs and counted each zap which, oddly enough,helped me get through it (Hello! All the hype about veinwave not hurting is not true - at least for me! I find them much more painful than polidaconal injections albeit not as bad as saline injections. And I hear that the ones on the face are even more painful). I also received some additional polidacanol injections. This time, my legs looked worse even after waiting a couple of months for bruising to fade! So, a few months later I went back and the doctor (who is a really caring, and gentle physician) said that we would really try to go after my resistant veins but that I should come in every week for the next few weeks. He could only give me 3cc's of polidaconal at one time which limited the amount of area on my legs that he could treat in one session, so we decided to attack different areas over the course of different sessions. So, I went for the next two weeks for combos of veinwave and polidaconal sclerotherapy, treating different areas of my legs across sessions (note: they cannot veinwave areas they have injected so they veinwave around those areas), and, again, I am starting to see improvement! Now the doctor asked that I wait for at least a month until the latest bruising fades so we can see what we are left with to treat. What I have learned from all of this is that I am one of those resistant cases (I have very tiny veins and lots of them, and many bluish splotchy areas) and that this treatment requires persistence, patience, and the willingness and ability to pay for multiple treatments. I have also learned that there is no magic bullet for spider vein treatment, that different doctors have different philosophies (saline vs polidacanol, compression hose vs no hose, elevation vs walking, etc), that my response to treatment may be completely different from yours, that my experience of pain my be completely different from yours.... and I have learned that it is highly unlikely that patient's will need only 1 or even 2 treatments. This is a long term commitment. Finally, "success" is relative in that my definition of it may be quite different than someone else's.

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