Laser Ablation Varicose Veins Treatment – An Overview

Are you facing social embarrassment with the swollen bluish veins that have appeared on the legs? Nowadays, the most preferred treatment method is the laser ablation. Endovenous laser ablation varicose veins treatment is also known under different names as ELVes, VeinSeal, and EVLT, depending on the different manufacturers of laser. However, all the laser ablation types are actually the same. You need to have an in-depth understanding of the treatment procedure.

Laser Ablation – What it is

Laser ablation is a new non-surgical method to treat varicose veins condition. Instead of the age-old method of tying and removing the affected vein, this method requires heating of the vein by a laser ray. The laser ray kills the walls of the affected veins and then those are naturally absorbed as dead tissues. This treatment can be done in a clinic and does not require any operation theatre.

Almost all patients can opt for this laser ablation treatment. However, there are some exceptions, like if you have undergone previous surgery and have some smaller recurrent veins, then instead of laser ablation, foam sclerotherapy would be more suitable for you.

Laser ablation – procedure

The treatment starts with an ultrasound scan. Under the ultrasound, the veins that would be treated are marked. Then the patient is asked to lie and the legs are cleaned. Depending on the position of the affected veins, the patient is asked to be on the front or on his back. All these are guided under the ultrasound scan. Then anesthesia is applied locally on the affected skin and a needle is inserted into the affected veins. Then a thin wire is passed through the vein and a catheter is placed along the wire. The catheter is mostly inserted from the groin and laser ray is given to the veins for about five minutes. Though you might smell something burning, you would not feel any pain. After the veins are treated, the catheter and the laser are removed and the punctured areas are covered with a dressing. The duration of the treatment is approximately twenty to thirty minutes per leg. After the treatment, the doctor might ask you to wear compression stockings.

Post-treatment to-dos

You can go home immediately after the treatment. However, the doctor, in most cases, advises having someone to drive you home and not take any public transport. You need to wear compression stockings for about two weeks and you need to be cautious on wetting the treated legs. You need to bathe, as per instructions given by the doctor.  Within two weeks you would be able to get back to your normal activities. During the post-treatment days, you might experience some tightening sensations for the initial 3-5 days, which later becomes mild with time.

One treatment is good enough to relieve you from the symptoms and pain of varicose veins. However, if you want to improve the physical appearance of the skin, then you might have to go for further treatments. You can opt for an additional sclerotherapy of avulsion treatment, as advised by the doctor. These additional treatments can be taken at least 4-6 weeks after the laser ablation.

Dr. Chane

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