Why We Use Lasers on Varicose Veins
Written By: Emma Squillace
Have you noticed how popular lasers are in cosmetic and medical treatment? You’ve likely seen everything from laser hair removal to laser wrinkle removal. At West Medical, we use lasers to treat visible veins. Today, lasers are such a popular technology, and especially for people with varicose veins who want a safe treatment that also gets results. Lasers allow us to provide an effective treatment option that is more minimally invasive than older types of treatments.
The full name of our vein laser procedure is Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT). In providing laser vein treatment, we use the 1320 Nm CoolTouch® CTEV system. It is a particularly innovative technology that we like for its ability to deliver a high success rate with less pain, bruising, and downtime.
If you decide to have EVLT, we take a tiny laser fiber and insert it into whichever vein(s) we’re going to treat. Our vein expert inserts a very thin catheter into the vein, and uses ultrasound to guide the catheter to the area that’s going to be treated. We numb the area with a little bit of local anesthesia, which serves two purposes. First, it allows for comfortable treatment, and second, it protects adjacent tissue. Then we use the laser to send a pulse of concentrated heat into your vein. This heat acts by sealing the vein off. Without blood flowing through this vein, you will not have the color or bulging of the varicose vein.
After the Procedure
After EVLT, your vein will not be part of the circulation system any more, since it has been sealed off. Your body will naturally reroute the blood flow. Since you have so many veins, you do not need to be concerned that the laser treatment could harm your circulation. Even if you have multiple veins treated – like many patients do – your body is capable of adjusting your blood flow.
Success with EVLT
In addition to EVLT being so minimally invasive, it is also a popular treatment option because of its high success rate. After 3 years from the procedure day, this laser treatment still shows a 90 – 95% success rate. Some more invasive varicose vein treatment options can have failure rates as high as 20 – 40%. You can see before/after images of our patients here, to get a better idea of the types of success people can see with vein treatment.
Recovery Time from Laser Vein Treatment
There is minimal downtime for most people who have EVLT treatment. You’ll go home right after the procedure, and should be resuming your normal activities in 2 – 7 days, depending on several factors. We may have you wear bandages or compression stockings to help get optimal results. Some patients feel tightening or tugging sensations after EVLT, and this is normal as is some amount of bruising. You may want to take a few days off work to make recovery easier, or potentially up to a week if you have a particularly physical job. It can be two weeks before you’re able to participate in your full range of activities, especially if you’re used to heavy exercise.
If you have varicose, spider, or reticular veins, there is a wide range of treatment options available. The best way to understand your choices is to come into West Medical for a consultation with our vein specialists. In many cases, laser treatment may be a good option for you. If it is not, we’ve got other treatment options we can explain as well. Our experts are highly experienced with recommending the treatment option that is best for each patient. They will examine your problem areas, explain the types of visible veins you have, and give you the education to make a confident decision. If you’d like to learn more about veins and vein treatments, please call our offices at (855) 690-0565.