Are you wondering if you can undergo varicose vein laser treatment? The answer is yes!
Gone are the days when your only option to treat your varicose veins was vein stripping and ligation, an invasive procedure requiring a lengthy hospital stay. Today, several minimally invasive surgeries can eliminate varicose veins during a one-hour in-office visit. And one of the most successful and popular varicose vein treatments is endovenous laser ablation.
The FDA approved varicose vein laser treatment in 2002 and has since shown a very high success rate. Don’t be intimidated by the word “laser” in the name. The procedure is safe, and most people are eligible for laser treatment. With few exceptions, you can undergo this varicose vein treatment and benefit significantly from it.
How varicose vein laser treatment works
Your leg veins are lined with tiny valves that move blood up to the heart. These valves can lose strength due to age, genetics, gender, obesity, or a sedentary lifestyle. Once they weaken, blood backslides and pools within the vein, leading to visibly swollen, twisted veins on the legs and ankles. Pain, cramping, itching, and heaviness often accompany varicose veins.
Varicose vein laser treatment works by eliminating an affected vein that’s no longer able to carry blood. Laser ablation is often recommended for medium-sized or larger varicose veins. The doctor will apply local anesthesia around the vein before inserting a thin laser fiber. As the fiber moves through the vein, it emits bursts of laser heat to destroy the diseased vein, which is absorbed into the body and eventually fades. The entire process typically takes about an hour.
After the procedure, you can go home with instructions to avoid strenuous exercise for about a week. Your doctor may advise wearing compression stockings for about a week and elevating your legs periodically. While you can shower, you should avoid hot tubs. Despite some mild bruising, your recovery time will be brief and without much discomfort. Your doctor will schedule follow-up visits to check on your progress.
Who is eligible for laser treatment?
Generally, any adult can undergo laser ablation treatment, with few exceptions. Consult your vein specialist, who can recommend appropriate treatment if you are experiencing significant discomfort such as pain, swelling, itching, and cramping.
Skin changes around the varicose vein would also make you a candidate for laser treatment. Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms of vein disease, your vein specialist may recommend treatment to prevent future complications, such as skin ulcers.
Who is not eligible for laser treatment?
Pregnant women with varicose veins are advised to wait until after delivery for treatment, as pregnancy-related varicose veins usually resolve on their own.
Women undergoing hormone replacement therapy may have to stop the therapy during treatment.
If varicose veins develop in sensitive areas, such as the vulva, your doctor may not recommend laser ablation. Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) is typically treated with venous angioplasty and stenting.
Laser ablation is also not used to treat spider veins, which appear as thin, flat clusters of blue and red veins on the legs. Although spider veins and varicose veins sometimes appear together, spider veins are typically treated with sclerotherapy.
Explore your treatment options
Varicose veins can be unsightly and painful, but you don’t have to live with the discomfort when so many treatment options are available. The physicians at Center for Restoration (CVR) have performed thousands of varicose vein treatments, including laser ablation. Talk to one of our expert physicians to help you overcome the pain of varicose veins and get you back to living a pain-free life.
Contact your nearest CVR location today to schedule a consultation or speak to a representative. You may also schedule online at your convenience.