Are There Side Effects and Risks with Endovenous Laser Ablation?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Endovenous laser ablation is a procedure that has helped many patients suffering from varicose veins in Oneonta, New York overcome the condition through the application of laser energy. The procedure involves the insertion of a laser fiber into the problem vein, where low energy is then applied to heat the vein wall, causing it to shrink and collapse. Blood is then no longer able to flow through the vein and other healthy veins take over blood flow.

Recovery following endovenous laser ablation is relatively hassle-free and no scars are left behind. There is minimal postoperative pain and patients experience results almost immediately following treatment. Any minor soreness or bruising associated with endovenous laser ablation may be treated using over-the-counter medications, although patients should consult with their doctor before taking any medicines. Patients should walk to encouraged healthy blood flow and may resume their normal activities and return to work shortly after the procedure.

A follow up appointment may be scheduled for about a week after the procedure to check the status of the treatment and to ensure proper healing. There are possible risks associated with endovenous laser ablation that patients should discuss with a vein specialist in the Oneonta area. Numbness, tingling and a pulling sensation have been associated with this procedure, as well as phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis and infection.

Phlebitis is a redness and tenderness of the skin and is fairly common following this procedure. Any pain associated with phlebitis may be treated with over-the-counter medicine, although the condition usually resolves within 3 to 7 days. Deep vein thrombosis is a rare complication associated with endovenous laser ablation and is best prevented by wearing compression stockings following treatment and to walk after the procedure.

Infection is another rare complication associated with this treatment. It usually resolves on its own, but patients should report any side effects or complications to their doctor immediately. Other complications may be present with incorrect application of the treatment. For this reason, it is important that patients seek treatment from a trained and licensed vein specialist in their area. Ask for licensing information or check with the Medical Licensing Board in the state for further information about qualifications.

One common question associated with this procedure is whether removing the greater saphenous vein is harmful. While a healthy greater saphenous vein should be left alone in case it is needed in future open heart surgeries, a thick and thrombosed greater saphenous vein may actually inhibit healthy circulation and its removal is not harmful. Patients are encouraged to discuss this with a vein specialist to learn more about the greater saphenous vein and whether it will be removed during the procedure.

Endovenous laser ablation is minimally invasive and has been helpful in relieving large varicose veins. It should not be used to treat smaller varicose veins and spider veins, or veins in the lower legs. Patients suffering from these conditions should speak with a vein specialist in the Oneonta area to explore other treatment options.

Learn more about endovenous laser ablation in Oneonta, New York.

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions