Don’t you love walking down the street in summer with bare legs? Is there anything more liberating? Feeling heads turn as you sweep by on a pair of high-heeled pumps with beautiful tanned legs is one memorable thrill we all have experienced at least once in our lives. However some of us lose the confidence of walking bare legged in the streets once we deal with varicose or spider veins, an affliction that hits many over 35. Though age and heredity play a big part, pregnancies can leave spider veins in younger women too, adding another reason to hide in sweat pants after delivery. This is what happened to me and where as I never thought twice about running out of the house in shorts before I had babies, I never dared afterwards, being too self-conscious of the ugly purple veins. This year, as part of a plan to have a leaner and younger body, including going to the gym every day, lifting weights, swimming and watching what I eat, I decided to get rid of them.
I headed to the Vein Treatment Center on New York’s Upper East Side, a facility specializing exclusively in the treatment of spider and varicose veins. The website says that new non-invasive procedures were developed in the facility including EVLT and painless sclerotherapy with great cosmetic results. These methods have revolutionized the specialty, allowing patients to get treatment in half an hour. It sounded good to me so I went to check it out.
The facility is beautiful and inviting, spotlessly clean and elegant in a zen-like minimalist way. There is some original art on the walls in the reception area as well as an aquarium. The head of the center is Dr Luis Navarro, a board certified general surgeon and vein expert. First, I was interviewed by Dr. Navarro’s assistant to discuss my medical history and see if anything might prevent me from undergoing a vein treatment. Everything was clearly explained and all my questions answered satisfactorily.
Afterwards, I was brought into the treatment room where a nurse instructed me to change and then lie on a spa-like bed with my legs bare legs showing. Dr Navarro, a very professional man with a warm and friendly demeanor, came in. He evaluated both of my legs and said that at least 7 sessions were necessary to rid the surface of my legs of all unsightly spider veins. “Your legs will be like a 16 year old’s again” he said with a twinkle in the eye. “Ha ha, that sounds good” I replied. I was really skeptical of his optimism but curious at the same time to see what could be done to rejuvenate my legs.
Dr Navarro sat on a chair and put on full face mask with an infrared light to help him see within my veins. The procedure he used is sclerotherapy or “injection therapy” with “cooling cryotherapy”. During treatment, a mild chemical solution is injected into the vein. The sclerosing agent irritates the walls of the vessel, causing it to collapse. The body then absorbs the vein and blood is re-routed to a healthy vein, restoring proper venous circulation in the area. Cryotherapy numbs the skin before you are injected with the chemical solution.
Expect a slight discomfort during the injection and some minor bleeding. However, the pain is minimal and disappears right away. During the whole procedure, I was very relaxed. The nurse who is very attentive made sure to make me as comfortable as possible. As soon as the doctor is done, she wrapped my legs with wide strips of bandages that are to be kept on for a few hours until the little wounds are healed. Before heading home, I was handed a pair of support stockings to wear between my visits to help my legs tire less and heal faster. I was also given a prescription for a healing cream to spread three times a day on your legs.
I went for one visit a month for 7 months and watched my legs clear of all marks of spider legs. It is quite amazing as I never thought I would ever see my legs again without purple or blue lines all over them. Even one deep purple vein that I have had on the back of my legs since the age of 19 has totally disappeared.
Note, that most people will have black and blue marks on their legs for a few days and might experience discomfort when walking or exercising. I was not able to go to the gym for a couple of days as I felt a bit of numbness in my legs as if the circulation of blood was not as fluid. Wear the compression stockings as they really help with relieving the discomfort and tiredness you may feel. The black and blue marks will disappear gradually. After two weeks there was no trace left.
This summer I have been wearing miniskirts again without even thinking about it. I am proud of my legs and have nothing to hide. I can only thank Dr Navarro and his team for his fantastic work. If you are suffering from varicose or spider veins don’t hesitate to try Dr Navarro’s rejuvenating treatment. Start now, don’t wait until next summer. Once you have your sexy legs back, you really can’t imagine having it any other way
For more information check about the spider vein treatment and other vein treatments go to:
Dr. Luis Navarro
327 E 65th St. New York, NY 10065