OK, I admit it…I love needles—injecting with them that is!

How critical care/cath lab nursing prepared me as an aesthetic nurse injector.

I’ve always had a little obsession with veins. Early on in my nursing career I would be the “go to” for IV sticks. I was a sharp shooter. I loved the challenge; I loved the success; I loved helping people and not having them have to go through multiple needle sticks. My husband jokes that he knows when I’m eyeing up a good vein in someone whether we are out to dinner or standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. I admit it, I’m eyeing up your veins.

Jaclyn Tyson, RN, MSN, FNP-CFast forward a few years to starting up a vein clinic and being the lead nurse performing sclerotherapy. I was able to inject veins all day with great satisfaction of watching them close down. More importantly improving the look and feel of patients’ legs who in some cases thought there wasn’t anything that could be done for them. Unsightly veins, large reticular veins (green veins) or telangiectasia (spider veins) can be bothersome to many women and men. If I heard it once, I’ve heard it multiple times, “Oh I don’t show my legs”, “I can’t wear shorts or skirts”. The fact is, they can be treated. Whether it is unfortunate genetics passed down from mom or dad, hormone surge with pregnancy, or just wear and tear from long days on your feet, these veins can be improved and gone for good.

Sclerotherapy is a procedure that involves injecting the telangiectasia, or “spider veins”, with a solution to shrink and destroy the vessel for a clean, more even tone and appearance to the leg. Sclerotherapy can be done in conjunction with other vein procedures (ie RF ablation or an ambulatory phlebotomy) but is usually done after those procedures to “clean up” the leg for a more desirable cosmetic appearance of the legs. Sclerotherapy may also be done as just a stand-alone cosmetic procedure if no other treatments are needed.

During your session, the leg will be cleansed and injected with a small fine needle to administer the sclerosing solution. This procedure has minimal discomfort. After, your legs may initially look worse before they get better. You will be instructed to use compression stockings after your injections for a week. Sclerotherapy usually requires additional sessions to diminish the veins and achieve the desired look you are looking for. Since it may take time to get to the final result, the best time of year to get started is fall/winter.

SO next time you are in front of the mirror, take a look down at those legs and see what pops out at you. Are you happy with what you see? You are not being vain taking care of those veins. Step out in confidence and show off those legs!