If you want to get rid of your varicose veins because they bother you or you don't like the way they look, your doctor may recommend laser treatments. Lasers can be used to eliminate tiny surface veins as well as larger ones that are deeper in your leg. Here's how the procedure works.
Lasers Cause Scarring
When a doctor shines a laser light on a vein, it causes a burn that eventually develops a scar. When the scars build up, blood flow into the vein is blocked. This causes the vein to die and shrivel. Over time, the vein is absorbed by your body and disappears. It may take a series of laser vein treatments to get results. It could take several months for the varicose veins to fade away completely.
Treatment For Surface Veins
Tiny varicose veins that are near the surface can be treated by shining the laser on your skin. Your doctor passes the laser wand over your skin and it emits a pulse of light that passes into the targeted veins. The laser device has a cooling element on it so the surface of your skin doesn't get hot during the procedure. While the treatment isn't painful, you may feel some discomfort in the form of stinging with each laser zap. If it bothers you, your doctor can apply an anesthetic cream to your skin to reduce sensations.
Your skin may be a little red after the treatment, but there is no downtime for recovery. You can immediately resume your usual activities. Laser treatments for surface veins are quick procedures that can be performed on your lunch break, and since you don't need to restrict activities, you can go right back to work after your office visit.
Endovenous Laser Treatments
Laser treatments for deep veins are an alternative to surgery that strips your veins. The advantage to choosing endovenous laser treatments over surgery is that you don't need a general anesthetic with laser treatments, and the recovery time is much quicker.
To zap a deep vein with a laser, your doctor has to insert the laser under your skin. The area is injected with a local anesthetic first, so you won't feel any pain. Then the doctor inserts a tiny laser light through your skin and into a varicose vein. The laser heats the vein and causes damage that leads to the scarring that closes it off.
The incision needed to insert the laser is usually small enough that you won't need stitches. The wound is covered with a bandage and heals quickly. Your doctor may give you compression stockings to wear for a few days to stimulate blood flow and healing, but you'll be able to resume normal activities right away. Moving around helps speed your recovery more than staying in bed or prolonged sitting.
You may need to have repeated laser vein treatments if you are prone to developing varicose veins. Lasers get rid of the varicose veins you already have, but the treatments won't stop new ones from forming. For more information, contact centers like Elite Vein Centers.