Varicose veins are superficial, swollen, enlarged and twisting veins, often appearing dark purple or blue on the feet and legs. The condition occurs when blood through the veins flow in the wrong direction and starts accumulating.
Although varicose veins is not a serious condition, you should seek treatment if it causes symptoms like swelling and pain in the extremities. In severe cases, where a varicose vein ruptures or develops to form skin ulcers, your doctor may recommend laser treatment.
Can laser treatment cure varicose veins?
How does the procedure work?
The heat emitted from the laser damages a vein, which causes scar tissues to form. This scar tissue shrinks and closes the vein. A closed vein gradually loses its source of blood and dies. After some time, usually in a year or two, the vein disappears on its own.
Two types of laser surgery are performed, namely –
• Simple Laser Treatment – This is done on the outer layers of your skin. It can cure small varicose veins and spider veins under the skin surface. Normally, more than one session, scheduled every 6-12 weeks is needed.
• Endovenous Laser Treatment – This particular procedure is used to cure large varicose veins that appear on the legs.
The steps of the procedure are as follows –
• Your healthcare provider will administer local anaesthesia to numb the area. You may be provided with an eyeglass to protect your eyes
• The surgeon will make a small incision on the skin and pass a laser fibre through a catheter into the veins while closely monitoring the vein on a screen
• As he/she pulls out the catheter, the length of the vein will heat up and shrink, and eventually close
This outpatient procedure is less painful than stripping and litigation. It has a shorter recovery period and can be performed under local anaesthesia or mild sedatives.
What to Expect
After the laser treatment, you can walk around without much complication. The recovery period is typically brief. You can expect to return to your daily activities following simple laser surgery. However, you might need to wear a compression stocking for a week or so after the endovenous laser procedure.
You may notice redness, bruising or burns on the skin after the treatment. That is only normal, so you need not worry. Do follow up with your doctor to see if the vein has closed.