A laser is very simply a focused light beam that performs a cutting or heating purpose. A specific sort of laser beam can be used by a doctor for treating varicose veins when he has had proper training and adequate experience. Laser heat can damage a vein in such a way that scar tissue is created, closing off the vein. A closed vein with no source of blood dies and can disappear in time, perhaps a year or more.
Simple laser treatment is performed outside the skin and is effective in treating spider veins and the smallest varicose veins located just beneath the skin’s surface. In most cases, more than one session is needed for good results. These sessions are scheduled at 6 to 12 week intervals at the discretion of the doctor. (Those with poor blood circulation to small veins must first have large feeder veins treated before this kind of simple laser treatment can be performed.)
Endovenous laser treatment treats large varicose leg veins. Using this method, a doctor with proper training passes a thin tube called a catheter into the vein itself. The doctor watches his or her work on a duplex ultrasound machine. This type of laser vein treatment is less painful than vein stripping or ligation and requires a shorter recovery time. Plus, only a local anesthetic is necessary (see how to offer laser therapy in your establishment).
What To Expect After Laser Treatment
You should be able to walk without a problem after treatment, and the recovery period is short. You can likely return to regular activities immediately after simple treatment.
After you have endovenous treatment, you are required to wear a compression stocking for a week. The doctor will then perform a duplex ultrasound procedure at a follow-up appointment to make sure the vein closed properly.
Why The Procedure Is Done
Simple laser treatment is performed to eliminate small spider veins and the smallest varicose veins. In some cases, this is a secondary treatment step after large varicose veins have been treated with surgery or other procedures.
Endovenous laser treatment is done to close large varicose veins instead of performing more painful and invasive surgery to close the vein.
How Well Laser Therapy Works
Simple laser treatment has proven very safe and exceptionally effective over more than 20 years of use.
Endovenous laser treatment averages a 94 percent success rate, meaning it fails about six time out of every 100 procedures performed.
In cases where endovenous laser treatment doesn’t properly close a vein, a second procedure is necessary. In consultation with your doctor, you may then choose to go with another laser procedure, with radiofrequency treatment or with sclerotherapy. Vein surgery may be recommended in some cases.
For the best possible results, choose a well-trained doctor with a lot of experience.
Risks Of Laser Treatment
Side effects are possible, including:
Coloring changing of the skin.
Nerve damage that includes a feeling of pain, burning or prickling after recovery.
Blood clots, either small or large, occurring in the treated vein.
These side effects are less likely than with vein stripping surgery. The more experienced your doctor is, the fewer the risks. Ask your doctor how often side effects are observed in his or her practice.
What To Consider
If you are considering laser treatment, there are some questions you must ask yourself. These questions include things like: How much experience and training does the doctor have with this specific kind of treatment? How much does the exam and the treatment cost overall? How many treatments will be needed to correct my varicose veins?
When considering laser therapy, it makes sense not to take the decision lightly and to consider all alternatives before deciding on any type of procedure.
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