Laser therapy involves the use of a high focused laser light. It is an effective procedure that can be used for varicose veins treatment. The heat from the laser damages the vein, which causes the formation of scar tissue. This scar tissue in turn closes the vein. The closed vein eventually loses its supply of blood and dies off. After 1 or 2 years, the vein will completely vanish.
Simple Laser Treatment
This treatment treats tiny varicose veins and spider veins just under the skin’s surface. Generally, more than 1 session is required. The sessions are scheduled every 6 to 12 weeks, or as suggested by the doctor. If you have poor blood circulation to these veins, the larger “feeder” vein should first be treated with surgery, radiofrequency treatment, sclerotherapy or endovenous laser.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
This new age technology is becoming more popular for larger veins in the legs. During treatment, a laser fiber is passed through a catheter (thin tube) into the vein. While doing so, the doctor will watch the vein on a duplex ultrasound screen. Laser treatment is less painful as compared to stripping surgery and vein ligation, and has a shorter recovery time. As compared to vein surgery that requires general anesthesia, laser for varicose veins only needs local anesthesia or a mild sedative.
How Well It Works
Simple laser for veins has become very safe and effective over the past 20 years. Endovenous laser procedures close veins almost 94 times out of 100. If endovenous treatment fails to close a vein, you will require a second treatment. Based upon what is available in your area, you could have choices between other laser treatments, sclerotherapy or radiofrequency treatment.
What Should I Expect After Treatment?
You are likely to resume routine activities soon after simple laser treatment. However, after endovenous laser treatment, you would need to wear compression stockings for one week or more. Your doctor will also use duplex ultrasound in order to ensure that the vein has closed.
Varicose veins treatment
What are the Risks?
The risks associated with this treatment include:
- Skin burn
- Skin discoloration
- Feeling of pain, burning, or prickling due to nerve damage
- Large or small blood clotting in the vein. But this is less likely as compared to vein stripping surgery.
The more experienced your doctor is with laser treatment, the less risk you are likely to have. Speak to your doctor about how often such side effects could occur.
What to Consider
As compared to ligation surgery or vein stripping, endovenous laser treatment is usually less painful and involves a shorter recovery time. This is because treatment with laser for varicose veins is done through a small incision and a larger groin incision is not required. In addition, these treatments do not require general or spinal anesthesia.
In case you are thinking of laser for varicose veins treatment, consider asking the doctor some questions about the procedure. These include:
- How much experience does he/she have with this particular treatment?
- How many treatment sessions does he/she think you will need?
- How much will the tests and treatment cost?