Warning – photo of pasty white leg coming up.

It’s mine and it’s covered with pretty pink bruises.



It looks like that because I had a varicose vein treated yesterday. See it started at the top, went down to the right then veered off to the left. It was ugly. Ultrasound guided sclerotheraphy. This is the third time I’ve had it done. The first lot they stripped out back in 1993 but they don’t do that much anymore. They prefer this method where they guide a needle in by ultrasound and inject it with some sort of saline solution and it withers up. The information says that it is a godsend for people who have always wanted a fast, relatively painless method for varicose vein removal.

I have to say that I consider it a means to an end not a godsend. And it is relatively painless. The doctor always says – just a small ouch – as she inserts the needle. I find it very uncomfortable. She always says there will be more than one but less than ten injections. I find I’ve had enough after about five.

So now I’m in the compression stocking for a week then I go back and have the other leg done. With that one they’re behind the knee and I haven’t had any done there before and I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty tender.

By the way, taking off a wet compression stocking is no easy task. I have to shower in it then lie down and take it off and then put a new dry one back on. Seriously people I am going to end up with very muscular fingers.

So my legs won’t be beach ready for a couple of months yet. As the paperwork says – it is not for people who want instant gratification. Not only do I bruise pretty easily but the vein she has injected stays dark for a long time before it goes away. Sometimes for a few months. When I mentioned it to her she said that she was thinking about doing a study on it because she found that it only happened in people who had haemochromatosis and I’m a carrier of haemochromatosis so that was interesting. She said that she could snip the vein in two spots and take it out but I said – ummm, no thanks – I’ll wait for it to fade.


23 thoughts on “ouch

  1. wow, there were roughly 3 different moment where I almost vomited.
    when you go for the next one, ask for a topical numbing cream… they should have it on hand.

    and please post if you are happy with the results. I have a couple on the backs of my knees I’d like to remove some day. for now, I just don’t look there so they don’t bother me.

    • They do have a numbing cream but it costs a fair bit if I remember correctly. It’s not too bad on top its when they inject into the vein that it feels a bit yuk. I’ve been happy with the results before so hope to be this time as well. The one I just had done was really awful to look at and because my legs re so pale they really show up. Same reason as you that I haven’t bothered with the back of the knee ones before, can’t see them so why bother but I thought I might as well do the lot while I was at it then hopefully I’ll be right for another five years. That seems to be my limit, five years and then more pop out.

      • I wasn’t aware of the cost because my doc used to give the numbing cream for free. I know a lot of people get botox without it… I don’t want to imagine needles in my face without topical numbing!

        At least you get 5 years. Botox is only 6 months or so. Is it too rude to ask how much this procedure costs?

        • Yeah, I can’t remember how much for the cream but I think it was a fair bit – like between $50 and $100. Maybe depends on how much of your leg needs covering with it. The procedure isn’t covered by private health insurance becasue it’s considered cosmetic surgery not medical. I don’t have private health insurance anyway. So it cost me $ 120.00 for the ultrasound fee and $550.00 for the doctor to do the injections. Thats each leg.

          • That’s not too bad. Probably a billion times more expensive over here. But I could probably also find a doc to write it up as a “medical necessity” so insurance would cover it.

  2. Ouch! I get shooting pains in the legs just looking at that photo! But seriously, I hope it works for you. My uncle had his varicose veins done the old fashioned way because they hurt so bad he couldn’t sit on a plane during long flights or even sleep, because they would throb and wake him up. His description of the procedure however made me think my veins would have to really hurt before I had them done. I don’t bruise easily, but I hate needles and don’t want them poking me in sensitive spots like the thighs.

    You’re still in long-pants weather out your way, right? I also would hate to think of you having to wear compression stockings in hot weather!

    • Lol, the stripping is pretty harsh but I liked it better because you’re just put to sleep then when you wake up it’s all over. Only some of mine have been the aching type but they’ve all been damn ugly. My mother has legs that ache a lot but she said that they stopped aching when they moved closer to the sea.

      Border line for long pants. I wouldn’t do it any later than September – starting to heat up now.

  3. I hope that they heal quickly and that you are happy with the results. It will be worth going through and you will be able to run around in your short shorts 🙂

    • Lol – bit of both, cosmetic mainly but they do ache after a while. This one I had done though was just plain ugly and I’m not ready to hide in long pants yet. My mother has haemochromatosis and has to be bled every few months. I’d never heard of it before she told us to get tested but it seems now that everyone knows someone who has it.

      • BIL used to donate blood for many years but eventually they said his levels were too high/low whatever and now he can’t donate blood any more.

        I have a mass of the tiny spider blood veins but luckily above knees so can get way with skirts and long legged shorts. I blame my mother and years of standing all day.

        You are a brave woman!

  4. That looks remarkably unpleasant, Jane. Mr. sKz wears compression hose for much of the day. There are rubber gloves with nubbies on them that we got when we bought the hose. It really helps get them on and off. Of course, his are now four years old and have lost quite a bit of their squeeziness but he can get them on and off pretty quickly now. I think it took us 10 minutes each leg at first.

    • Yes, its like when you have your first baby it takes you about ten minutes to put one of those tight stretchy body full body suits on them because you think you’re going to break their arms but by the time you get to the third you can wrangle them into one in a few seconds.

  5. OWIE!!!

    I once fell out of a (parked) car – don’t ask – and the next day I had a whopping bruise from ankle to knee. I had broken a blood vessel – it was damned scary to look at, but not as red and angry as what I just saw!

    Take it easy and DO feel better!

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