PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Summer is on the way and you know what that means; showing off the legs! But even the 'glammest' of gams may stay hidden year round because of these blotches of red and bluish veins.
Michelle Still has had it with her spider veins. She had maintained her shapely legs through multiple decades and through birthing and raising five kids.
Then, she decided it was time for those veins to go! So, she walked into the Vein and Vascular Institute with only one concern. What if they don't go away? Or, that there may be permanent discoloration and scarring from post-procedure bruising and marks that don't completely fade away.
"Exactly, and we wanna do things that can minimize any of the complications associated with sclerotherapy," Dr. Charles Dietzek said.
Those complications include hyperpigmentation or the veins filling up again , after they've been zappep and collapsed.
"We not only want to treat the obvious veins that we see here - but we want to treat the feeding source," Dr. Dietzek explained.
That source is invisible to the naked eye, and may be lurking below some of these patches on top.
"When I use this lighting source now I can see and boom, there is the vein that's the underlying source of the whole complex of spider veins," Dr. Dietzek explained.
For that vascular surgeon Charles Dietzek is adding a new and second procedure called segmental interruption. She's got to be numb for this part.
And it's a good thing Michelle can't see what's coming.
"The source vein was injected with a different concentration solution in order to deal with that larger vein." said Dr. Dietzek, "I'm just going to take this and this is basically going to divide that vein."
"I'm basically cutting it off from the skin," he added.
He says Michelle falls in a group who may benefit from it most from this procedure.
"People that are from Asia, South America, olive skin, darker skin, African Americans, these are the individuals that are more likely to have a problem with hyperpigmentation," Dr. Dietzek said.
After all the zapping and disrupting is don, a snug wrapping helps keep the veins collapsed.
Dr. Dietzek says the longer the vein is compressed, the better. He recommends a few days, followed by a compression stocking for at least a week.
Michelle's still recovering, but the doctor says her legs should be clear and smooth in another week or two. If not Dr. Dietzek says she may need a follow-up treatment, but not likely.
Weeks of recovery time is why he says you really should plan this kind of procedure, way in advance.
A 15 minute session of sclero and segmental interruption costs about 400 dollars.