When you have twisted, knotted ropes running along your legs or thin, discolored lines branching out over your body, it’s easy to feel that these distorted veins are the only thing people notice about you — especially once it’s shorts weather.
Whether you just feel self-conscious about the look of these veins or you also have related symptoms, the bottom line is the same: you don’t have to live with them! Several very effective options are available in most cases to treat them.
The important thing to know is that it can take two to three months to see results. So if you want to have your legs looking great by the unofficial start of summer, now is the time to get started!
Here’s a primer on what you should expect and how to get started.
First things first
You’ll want to first contact an experienced vein specialist near you. They may have you answer some questions before scheduling an initial in-person consultation, then follow that with a “vein mapping” ultrasound to check for the severity of your venous reflux (blood that flows backward instead of returning to the heart). Or they might have that occur as part of your initial consultation so that you don’t need to make a separate office visit.
How it works
The vein doctor should spend as much time as needed to ask about any symptoms you may be having (such as tired, heavy legs, burning, itching, stinging or swelling), educate you about what’s going on inside your veins, and discuss your treatment options. You should come prepared with questions and feel comfortable with the answers and your recommended treatment plan before you leave the office.
In most cases, the results of your vein mapping will determine which treatment is right for you. (Note that treatment recommended for medical reasons is generally covered by health insurance plans, whereas treatment considered “cosmetic” to improve the look of your legs without true medical impact is usually not covered.) Your procedure will be scheduled after pre-qualification insurance paperwork is completed.
What to expect
Treatment options are same-day, in-office procedures using local anesthesia — a simple process to numb a particular part of your body while you remain fully awake. After the procedure you’ll be back on your feet right away and fine to drive yourself home. While you may experience some pain or discomfort in the following days, you shouldn’t need more than an over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen for relief.
You should be able to return to work the next day if you work at a desk job. If your work responsibilities are more physically intensive, you’ll want to take it easy for a few days and can request a doctor’s note for work if needed.
Walking is encouraged and is an important part of your recovery. Light exercise is also okay, though you’ll want to give your body several weeks before returning to most sports or high-intensity workouts.
You should be contacted after your procedure to see how you’re feeling and to schedule a follow-up scan. Then your main task left will be to shop for leg-baring fashions to show off your new summer look!
To schedule a consultation with DeKalb Vein Center, please call us at (404) 501-9377.