Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, and often painful veins filled with blood. They’re typically raised above the skin’s surface and occur in the legs. Although they’re not life threatening, in most cases, they could cause significant discomfort and pain. The most traditional method of removing varicose veins was vein stripping, which is an invasive surgery involving incisions and the physical stripping or pulling of veins from the leg.
Fortunately, patients nowadays could opt for noninvasive or minimally invasive procedures such as laser therapy.
How Laser Therapy Treats Varicose Veins
Simple laser therapy could effectively remove tiny varicose veins and spider veins. During the procedure, the laser would apply targeted energy to the skin’ surface, essentially destroying the tiny blood vessels. The results differ from one patient to another, but multiple sessions are normally required. It’s significantly less invasive that vein stripping and sclerotherapy since there’s no catheter or needle insertion.
For larger varicose veins, simple laser treatment might not suffice, says Heart of Dixie Vein Center. The second-best recourse is laser surgery or endovenous catheter ablation. Basically, it involves the insertion of a catheter or probe into the varicose vein and then sealing it with the laser. Compared to vein stripping, it has a quicker recovery time and is less painful. Following laser therapy, you could resume your daily activities usually within two to three days. You’d also have to wear compression stockings for several weeks, depending on your doctor’s aftercare instructions.
The Bottom Line
Laser treatment could be used for treating varicose veins. With basic laser treatment, the laser energy would make the veins fade away, but this is only effective for smaller veins and spider veins. No chemical injections or cutting is involved. On the other hand, endovenous ablation laser therapy makes use of the laser to heat up and seal a varicose vein after your doctor makes a tiny incision on your skin surface. This is usually recommended for larger varicose veins.
Take note, however, that the laser treatment you choose for treating your varicose veins must be based on your specific diagnosis, your veins’ sizes, and your age, treatment history for varicose veins (if applicable), your medical history, and your ability to tolerate anesthesia and/or surgery, among other things