Endovenous Laser Ablation
The laser therapy is one of the new modalities for treatment of leg veins or varicose veins. Leg veins range from tiny, superficial "spider veins" to large, blue "varicose" veins which are blood vessels that are abnormally dilated, appear swollen, twisted and can be painful. Laser therapy can be a good option for treating unsightly leg veins that are resistant to sclerotherapy. Laser treatment can be done as externally applied method or endovenous laser ablation method.
Endovenous laser method is a minimally invasive method where a laser fibre is gudided into the vein till it reaches the site of abnormality. On reaching the site of treatment the fibre is made to emit the laser energy which produces heat near the blood vessel which causes blood to clot in the vessel and thus destroys the blood vessel. The damaged blood vessels will collapse, shrink and finally disappears. This procedure is often performed for larger varicose veins and the procedure can be performed in out-patient setting which may require about 30 minutes.
The advantages of the endovenous laser technology include:
- Ability for deep penetration and treat veins located deep inside the skin
- Relatively low absorption by melanin, so it can be used on all skin tones
- Minimal risk of stasis ulcers
- Minimal pain and discomfort
- Minimally invasive procedure, quick and requires no hospital admission
Side effects are rare but can include some reddening or swelling of the treated skin for the first 24 hours, mild bruising, and rarely, blistering.