Laser Vein Treatment
Spider and varicose veins are an embarrassing and often painful condition that affects millions of men and women as a result of heredity, pregnancy and hormones. Affected veins appear on the leg as a raised, tangled, unattractive web under the surface of the skin. Women are most often affected by this problem and as a result may be embarrassed to wear shorts or show their legs.
While spider and varicose veins have been successfully treated for years through conventional methods such as stripping, ligation and sclerotherapy, these procedures often cause pain and complications. Laser procedures offer patients more precise results through a minimally invasive procedure, which heats the vein and causes it to close, rather than removing it surgically.
Laser vein treatment offers patients:
- Fewer side effects
- Less trauma
- Shorter treatment time
- Shorter recovery
Types of Laser Vein Treatment
There are several different laser procedures available for treating spider and varicose veins. The best procedure for you depends on your individual condition. Your doctor will decide which procedure to perform on you after performing a physical examination and going over your medical history and general health.
Simple laser treatment is used to treat spider veins and small varicose veins that are just under the surface of the skin through a series of treatments.
Endovenous laser treatment, or EVLT, is an advanced procedure that can be used to treat larger varicose veins by passing the laser fiber through a catheter directly into the vein. This procedure is performed using ultrasound guidance to ensure accurate delivery of the laser energy. This procedure is quickly becoming the standard for effective treatment of spider and varicose veins.
Candidates for Laser Vein Treatment
The ideal candidate for laser vein treatment is a patient who is in good overall health, does not smoke and has no blood diseases or problems with bleeding. It is important for patients to have realistic expectations for this procedure, and to be seeking improvement for the appearance of their spider and varicose veins on their own accord.
Procedure of Laser Vein Treatment
Laser vein treatment is usually performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Each treatment session takes less than 20 minutes to perform, and patients can return to work and other normal activities immediately afterwards.
You may experience a slight tingling sensation during the procedure as the laser energy is delivered to the targeted vein. Other patients report a sensation similar to a rubber band being snapped on the leg. Most patients are able to tolerate this procedure well with the use of a local anesthetic.
Most patients see effective results from this procedure after two to six treatments that are spaced four to six weeks apart. Those with larger veins may require additional treatments.
Recovery from Laser Vein Treatment
After laser vein treatment, patients may experience slight redness and bruising in the treated area, and may also notice a slight bump on the skin. These symptoms are usually mild and will go away on their own within a few days. Patients who undergo endovenous laser treatment may be required to wear compression stockings for about a week after the procedure.
The results of this procedure are not visible right away, and will instead appear gradually over the next few weeks. The treated veins will slowly develop scar tissue and begin to close, as blood flow is diverted to healthier veins. The appearance of the treated veins will significantly improve over this time as well.
Laser vein treatment is extremely successful in closing affected veins and improving the appearance of the legs through a less invasive procedure. More than 98 percent of patients are satisfied with the results of this procedure, and most results are permanent.
Risks and Complications of Laser Vein Treatment
Although laser vein treatment is considered a safe procedure, there is always a risk of complication associated with any type of medical or cosmetic procedure. Although rare, these complications may include:
- Blood clotting
- Nerve damage
Patients can minimize these risks by choosing a doctor who is experienced in performing this procedure, and by adhering to their doctor's instructions for before and after the procedure.