Laser Treatment of Veins
What is laser treatment of veins?
The heart pumps blood to the various parts of the body through blood vessels. Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood from the various parts of the body back to the heart for purification (oxygenation). Obesity, pregnancy and standing for long hours can cause the veins to swell, bulge and twist, and be visible under the skin. This condition is known as varicose veins or spider veins. Varicose veins are very common in your thighs or calves, while spider veins are seen more often on the face and legs.
Laser treatment is recommended to close and shrink varicose veins that are symptomatic and severe in nature.
What are the indications and contraindications for laser treatment of varicose veins?
Laser treatment is mainly indicated for the treatment of varicosities in:
- Saphenous veins: long superficial veins running from the groin to the ankle
- Reticular veins (feeder veins): dilated green and blue superficial veins
- Telangiectasias: widened veins, causing patterns or red lines on the skin
However, the procedure is contraindicated if you have a blood clot in any one of the femoral veins in your leg (deep vein thrombosis) as it may affect the flow of blood from the leg.
How is laser treatment performed?
During the laser treatment, your doctor numbs the area with the help of local anesthesia where the catheter (hollow tube) will be inserted. Your doctor then examines your varicose veins using ultrasound. A small incision is made in your skin to insert the catheter which is guided through the varicose vein. A laser fiber is passed through the catheter and heats up the varicose vein as it is pulled back out through the catheter. The heat causes the vein to close up and eventually shrink. The incision made for the catheter is very small and does not need any sutures for closure. Only a bandage will be placed at the site of the incision. The entire procedure takes less than an hour to complete.
What should I expect after the laser treatment?
After the surgery, you will be required to wear special stockings for several days or weeks, which will help to compress your legs. You are also advised to walk around regularly rather than sitting or lying in bed for long hours. The bulged varicose veins will progressively shrink within one month of the procedure.
Are there any complications from laser treatment of veins?
As with all medical procedures, laser treatment for varicose veins may be associated with certain complications that may include, but are not limited to:
- Infection at the incision site
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
- Burns and bruises
- Changes in skin color at the treated area or inflammation of nerves
What are the advantages of laser treatment?
Laser treatment of varicose veins is safe, efficient and almost painless. Most patients are able to get back to normal activity within a day.
Patient Education Resources
- Learn More from our Patient Education Resources