What To Expect From Laser Surgery For Your Varicose Veins
Initially, the bulging veins in your legs were just a cosmetic problem. Now they have become a painful nuisance. It's time to get rid of those veins and the pain by seeing a vascular clinic that specializes in vein disorders. Laser surgery is one popular treatment that is minimally invasive and is done in an outpatient clinic. Here is what you need to know about laser surgery for those varicose veins.
Treating a Major Health Problem
While your varicose veins may have started out as a cosmetic issue, as they get larger, so do the health issues. As the vessels expand in your upper legs and allow more blood to pool in them, circulation to your lower legs is reduced. You'll begin to see problems such as:
- swelling in your feet and ankles
- burning sensation over the varicose veins
- pain, cramps and fatigue in your lower legs
These large veins and their related health issues are the focus of laser varicose vein surgery.
Laser Vein Surgery
A procedure called endovenous laser ablation, or EVLA, is done in the doctor's office or vascular surgery clinic as an outpatient procedure. A small incision is made in the large varicose vein into which a tiny laser probe is inserted. The laser heats up the tissue wall of the blood vessel until it constricts. The vein will then continue to get smaller until it disappears.
This procedure is primarily done on large varicose veins that appear in the upper leg where the circulation to the lower leg has been compromised. It is not used on small varicose veins or spider veins. The smaller veins are often treated by sclerotherapy, which is an injection of a substance into the veins that causes the veins to collapse.
What to Expect During Laser Surgery
The doctor will deaden the skin over the varicose vein being treated with a local anesthetic. A small incision is made across the top of the blood vessel into which the laser probe is inserted. Your doctor may use ultrasound imaging to monitor the location of the probe in the vein. The tiny laser at the end of the probe will heat up the blood vessel wall. This creates scar tissue which makes the vessel shrink. The laser is then removed and a small bandage is placed over the incision.
You'll feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure. The surgery takes less than an hour and you'll leave the office once the doctor is sure that you're not having any bleeding from the incision.
After the Surgery
You may have a small amount of bruising in the area where the blood vessel was treated. Some people experience mild pain in the area, which is controlled by an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. You'll be able to return to your normal activities the next day. Your doctor will have you come back in a few days for a follow up and to have the bandage removed.
The treated blood vessel will continue to shrink until your body absorbs it. The tiny scar where the incision was made will fade away, and you'll have no noticeable scar from the varicose vein once it has been absorbed.
For surgical treatment of varicose veins, contact a company such as Cedar Surgical Associates PC.