What is laser treatment for varicose veins?
You can treat your varicose veins with laser. Laser itself is a highly focused beam of light that is used as the heat of the laser damages the vein, and in doing so forms scar tissue. It is that action that is helpful, as the scar tissue closes the vein. Once the vein has closed it will lose its source of blood supply and will die. Within a year or two the vein will be completely gone.
Why is this treatment useful?
Health issues such as hypertension can damage the veins and cause chronic venous disorders. The results are unsightly and painful varicose veins. The use of laser treatment for varicose veins is an effective means of eliminate the problematic veins.
Symptoms affecting quality of life are as follows:
• Night cramps
• Spontaneous hemorrhage
Skin changes associated with chronic venous hypertension are as follows:
• Corona phlebectasia, eczema, and pigmentation
• Atrophie blanche
• Healed or active ulceration
• Superficial phlebitis (SVT) in varicose veins.
This procedure is not for those such as:
- People that are pregnant or breastfeeding since there will be concerns about proper blood supply through the placenta to the unborn baby
- People that have liver dysfunction and cannot use a local anesthetic
- People with severe hypercoagulability syndromes
- Or people that suffer badly from thrombus.
What should you expect during the procedure?
The procedure will depend on the type of laser treatment that has been selected.
The simple laser vein treatment is applied on the surface of the skin. This procedure is for the treatment of spider veins, as well as varicose veins which are just below the skin surface. Several treatments might be needed, spread 6 – 12 weeks apart.
The endovenous laser treatment is more invasive. Here tiny tin tube are inserted into the veins, through which the laser fiber is passed. This treatment is for more aggressive varicose veins in the legs. The doctor will make use of a duplex ultrasound screen to view the procedure. This is all done while the patient is under a local anesthesia or a light sedative. The benefits of this sort of treatment are that it is less painful than vein stripping or vein ligation and the recovery time is shorter. But you will need to wear a compression stocking for a week. An addition ultrasound check-up will be needed to see if the veins are closed off. Simple laser treatment might be prescribe to as part of a second step follow up, alternatively a second session of endovenous laser treatment might be needed if the veins did not close.
In all the procedure will be about 45–90 minutes long. However the time can differ as the procedure times are dependent on the number of concurrent treated veins, length of segment etc.
View this video. It will show you how easy veins can be removed with the use of lasers:
The possible complications and risks
Side effects of laser treatment include:
• Skin burns
• Skin colouring changes
• Feelings of burning, pain, or prickling after recovery, from nerve damage (less likely than after vein stripping surgery)
• Small or large blood clotting in the vein or a deep vein (less likely than after vein stripping surgery).
Adverse complications are normally minor. Mostly it’s the over treatment, and the side effects will last for a week or 2.
There might be tightness 7 days after the treatment and some inflammation in the treatment vein segments
What to think about
If you are thinking of laser treatment, consider some questions to ask about varicose vein treatment. These questions include: How much experience does the doctor have with the particular treatment? How much do the exam and treatment cost? How many treatments does the doctor think you will need?
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