Life-changing cosmetic procedure that’s a no-brainer

March 18, 2011

Life-changing cosmetic procedure that's a no-brainer
Life-changing cosmetic procedure that's a no-brainer

“Big, puffy, curly and really, really disgusting,” are only some of the terms 34-year-old Katie uses to describe the varicose and spider veins that she’s had since her teenage years. To disguise them, she tried acupuncture, tanning, fake tanning and, ultimately, long dresses. “It’s completely unbearable; I think about them all the time.”

Judy, a woman of a certain age, got varicose veins after the birth of her twins. She tried camouflaging her veins with makeup and even tried wearing two pairs of stockings at a time but she still wasn’t comfortable enough with her appearance to wear skirts and bathing suits.

When both women waltzed into a recent “Today” show, wearing short skirts and high heels, they had absolutely no trace of the veins that appeared in their “before” pictures. The camera zoomed in and the women pirouetted, proudly revealing vein free, blemish free legs. This miracle had occurred after three treatments within a period of about 3 weeks.

Their physician, Luis Navarro, explained that he uses a procedure called sclerotherapy. He injects the veins with a chemical compound, which irritates the veins so that the veins close and disappear. The blood then goes to healthy veins. The outcome is complete disappearance of varicose and spider veins.

Katie and Judy said they felt a slight stinging sensation with the injections, but they were not painful. The procedure was performed with the women on their tummies. A vacuum cleaner-like machine blew cold air on the legs, alleviating the injection discomfort. The women left the office with their legs wrapped and were instructed to wear support panty hose overnight; they could hop off the table and return to their activities. There is no downtime.

Still looking for a possible downside, Hoda turned to Dr. Navarro, “Well here’s the question everyone’s been waiting for. How much does it cost?” Navarro explained that for about $500 a session, he provides 40 to 50 injections. Most women need three to four sessions, usually at one-week intervals. So the treatment in total usually costs from $1500 to $2000, which is not too bad considering the results.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, sclerotherapy is “a safe, time-proven procedure” to improve the appearance of varicose veins. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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