Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

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Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:33 am

Well I finally bit the bullet & decided after many years of procrastinating (due to cost, time off the bike & needle phobia) to have the unsightly veins in my legs treated. The decision wasn't easy, but after the severity of the effects of faulty veins was becoming more apparent it was time (probably about 2 years over due actually).

I wasn't experiencing any discomfort or lack of ability to function normally, but there was an increasing discoloration of the pigmentation around the left ankle. On a scale of 1-6, 1 being slight discoloration & 6 being an ulcer I was about a 3 & heading for an outbreak of eczema followed by possible ulceration in following years, possibly 10 or more, but still not something worth waiting for.

So after a second opinion I decided to go ahead with the treatment. It pays to shop around as the first doctor had me booked in for 2 x 2 hour ultrasound visits at $500 each followed by 8 treatment visits which would have cost anywhere from $5000 upwards.

In comparison the second doctor did both ultrasound scans in the initial consultation & formulated a treatment plan including full out of pocket costs for just $180 ($90 after rebates). Total cost including 2 pairs of compression tights will be $3000 out of pocket.

The treatment involved one large vein (38cm) being fried from the inside with an Endovenous Laser & the remainder were treated with ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. Basically the veins collapse & the walls bond together in places stopping the blood flow. After the injections 3 layers of bandages are tightly wrapped from toes to groin & the compression tights over the top. After 48 hours the bandages come off (what a relief) & the tights stay on for 2 weeks after the last treatment.

The plan is 2 treatments one week apart (done) & a third in 4 weeks time which equates to 5 weeks in compression tights & 7 weeks with no strenuous exercise, just walking. Three months later comes the fun part where the doctor oozes the old gluggy blood form the terminated veins. Really looking forward to that :roll:

Apart from some intense ankle pain in the first couple of days the treatment doesn't stop everyday normal function & you pretty much walk in & walk out. The tights are preferably worn 24hrs/day (including showering), but can be removed after 4 days in the evening while sleeping.

If anybody is considering having the same treatment I hope the above info could be helpful.
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by BNA » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:12 pm

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:12 pm

Thanks for sharing. My BIL may be headed for this so I'll send this to him.

BTW - George Hincapie:
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby Summernight » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:20 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:Thanks for sharing. My BIL may be headed for this so I'll send this to him.

BTW - George Hincapie:
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:shock:

Are they cycling related?
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby Baldy » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:52 pm

Wow you must be climbing the walls Zep! Good to hear it has gone well and I hope you get the outcome you were looking for in the end.

I share your needle phobia and some of them[the dopers leg in the pic there] look gross.

If there are risk factors as to who gets them, I am all ears. Well, I'm all ears anyway but they are listening this time :wink:
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:53 pm

Summernight wrote: Are they cycling related?


:shock:


No they're hereditary (thanks Mum :roll: ) The doctor who is treating my legs has told me that cycling has improved the circulation & reduced the severity.

Pregnancy & genetics are the main causes so I'm lead to believe. Obesity would also contribute as the venous blood returning to the heart would be under more pressure.

Basically the valves in the veins which help the returning blood continue up the legs fail & cause the walls of the veins to bulge outwards. This can then have a flow-on effect & spread to other veins as they are put under more pressure than normal.

Sitting or standing without moving about can also contribute to varicose vein severity. Like I'm doing right now :shock: ......time to walk the puppies.....see you in 30 minutes :wink:
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby Farmer Elvis » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:20 pm

So how are you feeling Zep? I am very interested in how it goes I too suffer from varicose veins in the lower calf, really ugly and bloody annoying thanks very much passed down from my grandmother
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:42 pm

Farmer Elvis wrote:So how are you feeling Zep? I am very interested in how it goes I too suffer from varicose veins in the lower calf, really ugly and bloody annoying thanks very much passed down from my grandmother


All is going well thanks Elvis. I'm now heading for treatment number 4 on Wednesday which will then have me in compression stockings for the final 2 weeks. I've now started removing the stockings at night & I must say almost 90% of the veins are gone. If I poke my finger into where the veins were I can feel a hard lump & a bruised type of pain. I guess the main thing after 4 weeks is realising that this is a fairly long term expensive treatment, but well worth it.

The main discomfort is having this constant squeezing feeling from the tights & a bit of itching on top of the feet.

The biggest sacrifice is NO strenuous exercise for 8 weeks. The house is looking great though with all the time in the world to renovate/paint/build & finish off everything ready for the return to the bike.
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:39 am

What are the chances of it happening in the other leg Zep or is it predominately only happens in one?

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:41 am

foo on patrol wrote:What are the chances of it happening in the other leg Zep or is it predominately only happens in one?

Foo


I'm having both legs treated, but the left leg is 3 times worse than the right.

Both legs were ultra-sounded on the first consultation & a treatment plan was devised.

The left upper leg from the knee to the groin had one major vein with faulty valves causing excess pressure on the lower veins.

The right leg only had a few bulging veins in random places, but not caused by any one particular source as the left leg was.

As this condition is mainly hereditary I don't think it's occurrence in any one particular leg is influenced by anything other than luck or chance.

Child birth & standing stationary for hours on end can also be a major contributing factor.
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:59 am

Ah ok, that's a bugger Zep. So probably a dumb question but your circulation from this big one from the groin, it's not going to cause you anymore problems down the track like pins and needles or numbness? :oops:

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:56 pm

foo on patrol wrote:Ah ok, that's a bugger Zep. So probably a dumb question but your circulation from this big one from the groin, it's not going to cause you anymore problems down the track like pins and needles or numbness? :oops:

Foo


That biggish vein is now fried & gone for good. The main femoral vein is still in tact as it was in good working order. It seems the deeper the veins the better condition they're in due to being supported by surrounding muscle.

As for any pins & needles or numbness I can't see it being an issue as we're talking about "venous" or returning blood not "arterial" or blood supply. One of the first questions I asked the doctor was where will all the blood go once the vein is blocked off. His reply was simply "it will find a new path" ??? glad he was so precise in his explanation. After more quizzing he assured me that the current bulging veins weren't doing anything but hindering the blood flow any way.

Looking at the ultra sound was interesting as you can see the actual dimensions of the veins on the screen. The terminated vein was about 10mm across in some sections & the main femoral vein looked about 12-15mm :shock: I'd rather not know what's in there really, but it's all out in the open now.
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:20 pm

Well that's a plus for you then Zep and I didn't realise that the veins were so wide neither. :shock: No wonder they can pump all your blood out so quickly!

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby Farmer Elvis » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:07 pm

And what are the chances of the new veins also becoming varicose, did your doc say anything their Zep
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:18 pm

Farmer Elvis wrote:And what are the chances of the new veins also becoming varicose, did your doc say anything their Zep


Apparently the chances are very slim as the existing veins in good condition are deeper & better supported by surrounding muscle.

Other veins may appear in years to come, but as long as they're treated the severity should be minimal.

As I'm prone to this condition I will obviously keep a careful look out for anything suspicious & have it treated accordingly.
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby Farmer Elvis » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:31 pm

So how are you feeling now Zep? Any update
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:27 pm

Farmer Elvis wrote:So how are you feeling now Zep? Any update


Cured !! The compression tights are off for the next 6 weeks & 95% of the veins are gooooone :-) There's a little tenderness under the skin in a few places (like a bruise), but apart from that my legs look & feel normal again.

5th of June is the final injection episode & oozing the old blood from the terminated veins.........really looking forward to that :roll:

I guess that was worth $4000 :shock:
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:11 am

Bloody hell, there better be some prize money coming up. :lol:

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:24 pm

foo on patrol wrote:Bloody hell, there better be some prize money coming up. :lol:

Foo


Went out for my first ride this afternoon after 9 weeks off the bike & all I can say is the only prize money I'll be getting will be for last place or finishing the race before the sun sets :(
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:21 pm

Bugger, maybe you can snag a secret lap. :mrgreen:

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby ZepinAtor » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:00 am

A bit gory, but before shot below :shock: :shock:

Image

Same leg 8 weeks later :) :) The results will improve in the next 6 months with any minor bumps disappearing as the old hardened blood is absorbed (or removed in 5 weeks time)

Image

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby foo on patrol » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:06 am

A big difference there Zep! 8)

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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby Farmer Elvis » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:00 pm

That is a really good result Zep
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby BrisVegas » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:41 am

ZepinAtor wrote:One of the first questions I asked the doctor was where will all the blood go once the vein is blocked off. His reply was simply "it will find a new path" ??? glad he was so precise in his explanation. After more quizzing he assured me that the current bulging veins weren't doing anything but hindering the blood flow any way.


LOL (AT) "it will find a new path". That's the exact same explanation my wife got when she suffered a DVT during pregnancy. Her leg swelled up like a balloon due to a very large blockage up in the groin. Scary stuff, due to the risk of it travelling to the heart or brain. :shock: As she was 31 weeks pregnant, they wouldn't operate to break up or remove the clot, so she went on clexane (blood thinner) and wore compression tights for the remainder of the pregnancy and for 12 months after. She still wears a compression stocking on her lower leg to help things along. 5 years later now, I wonder if she would have similar options for "frying" and removing the damaged vein?

Your leg looks much better mate. Well done on taking action.
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Re: Varicose Vein treatment........7 weeks off the bike :-(

Postby Ken Ho » Thu May 09, 2013 5:31 pm

No, your wif had a DEEP vein thrombose. Varicose veins are superficial. Totally different. It's common to have ongoing venous insufficiency after a big DVT.
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