Sclerotherapy: Wearing Pantyhose, Feeling Pincushion-y

I’m writing this post as I sit here wearing, of all things, pantyhose under my jammies.  Not just any pantyhose, mind you.  No, I have on light compression pantyhose in a most peculiar, unnatural shade called, Suntan Beige.

The reason for this deviant pantyhose-wearing behavior is that I had sclerotherapy on my legs.   And once one has this voluntary, cosmetic, medical procedure, one must wear support pantyhose, of any color, for two weeks afterward.

# # #

For those of you fortunate enough to not have pasty white vein-y legs, I’ll explain what sclerotherapy is.  You’ve probably never heard of it before.  Lucky ducks.

Sclerotherapy, which involves a trained medical professional with a  sharp needle + saline solution, is a way to permanently remove spider veins & varicose veins from your legs.  Doctors have done it since the 1930s, so this is nothing new.

WebMD describes the procedure thusly:

“In most cases of sclerotherapy, the salt solution is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. At this point, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes, especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.”

While the above description is technically correct, what it fails to make clear is that sclerotherapy is not just one injection, it is many injections during the 15 to 30 minutes.  

# # #

Meaning, quite simply, that one becomes a human pincushion during this procedure.  And while I’m the first to admit that it doesn’t hurt per se, it is damned annoying to be jabbed [oh say, 50 times] with a sharp little needle.

So it is at this point in my life that I find myself this morning.  I’m squished inside a hideous pair of pantyhose, wondering how long it’ll be before the memory of this procedure floats out of my mind.  And my legs look wunderbar.

Only time will tell I guess.      

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

20 thoughts on “Sclerotherapy: Wearing Pantyhose, Feeling Pincushion-y”

  1. You are the best patient I know. Short-term pain will result in long-term gain. Well done. Now my question: looking at the picture in the sclerotherapy article, I have to wonder why medical sites never feature a model that looks like they need the procedure. I suppose it is marketing and mental association (“that’s how I want to look”).

    Like

    1. Z-D, you’ve got a good question there. Considering that this is a voluntary procedure, I think that you’ve answered your question. Of course, that’s how I want to look! And the photo is the carrot that the docs use to entice me to endure sclerotherapy.

      Like

  2. Sounds extremely uncomfortable! Being curious and nosy, the question that occurs to me first is this: if Suntan Beige is a hideous, peculiar, unnatural shade, how were they to hand when you needed them? Or was it an emergency purchase at that was the only shade available? Hope you feel less like a pincushion today and more like the lady in the web advert 😉

    Like

    1. Polly, I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be to find these stupid light compression pantyhose in the drug stores around here. [Heavy compression pantyhose are everywhere.] So I had to order the light compression pantyhose online, at the last minute w/ express shipping, in the only color available in my size. Hence, Suntan Beige.

      Like

  3. Your description reminds me of allergy testing. It doesn’t hurt, per se, but dozens of little needle sticks gets kind of tiresome. I hope that you recover quickly and that the fashionable suntan beige stockings help to keep you warm.

    Like

    1. Zazzy, YOU’RE RIGHT, this procedure is exactly like allergy testing. Except that there’s no infernal itching from it.

      As for the warmth provided by these stupid pantyhose, gotta admit that it’s not a bad thing. What with the almost zero temps around here, the extra layer is appreciated– even if I hate to admit that there’s something good about these pantyhose. 😉

      Like

  4. One of my friends had it done and her legs look fabulous afterward. She was a big swimmer and always self conscious of her legs. Good luck and remember the days we wore pantyhose every day to work? Yuk!

    Like

    1. kate, I had this done about 10 years ago and the results were worth the discomfort, so I’m thinking that this’ll be a good thing when it’s over.

      And yes, I do remember wearing pantyhose to work every. lousy. day. *shudder* I always had an extra pair with me in my purse, just in case I ran the darned things right before an important meeting.

      Like

  5. Suntan by L’eggs was my shade of choice in my pantyhose wearing days. Not support hose, but I do love the control top type. (I had two huge boy babies; ’nuff said.) I’m sure your annoyance will be more than worth it. And the pantyhose can help with added warmth!

    Like

    1. nance, those were the ones + color that I wore most often, too. In my memory, Suntan L’eggs were pretty, light, neutral. Nothing like these garish, almost orange-y, kind of dirty looking, pantyhose that I’m stuck inside of today.

      Like

  6. I might have to ask about that. My legs aren’t looking too great these days. I did have a partial vein stripping in one leg many years ago, but it didn’t seem to last. I’m a terrible patient, on my feet all the time and I love to cross my legs.

    Like

    1. Margaret, for me it has been effective, reasonably priced. If you have it done you, for a few weeks you will have to alter your behaviors so that the procedure can do its thing. That is, no running, no leg crossing, no not wearing your support hose. But you could do that, right?

      Like

        1. Margaret, I was told that I could walk all I wanted so I imagine long distances would be okay. But there was to be no running & no weight lifting for two weeks. Oh, and no hot steamy baths during this time, either. Those are the restrictions.

          Like

  7. Pantyhose…I’m so glad fashion has replaced them with nice, thick tights!
    I’ve heard the surgery can be painful, but that was from someone who had an aversion to needles. I think my reaction would be like yours…annoying, but tolerable knowing it was worth it for the results.

    Like

    1. Stephanie, yeah tights, boo pantyhose!

      As for the pain, I didn’t find it bad at all. But there is no way around feeling like a pincushion. I mean, this procedure is about getting jabbed w/ a needle over & over again. How else could I feel?

      Like

Comments are closed.