Does Endovenous Laser Ablation Get Rid of Varicose Veins?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Endovenous laser ablation is a vein treatment that has helped patients in Alpharetta, Georgia and throughout the nation overcome varicose veins. While a vein doctor in the community will offer detailed information on the procedure, going into a consultation with a general understanding of the treatment and what to expect during and after the procedure is usually helpful.

This procedure uses laser technology to heat, collapse and shrink problem varicose veins that eventually disappear entirely. Endovenous laser ablation is usually used to treat larger varicose veins. The procedure is not intended for the treatment of spider veins or smaller varicose veins, and those suffering from these conditions are encouraged to explore other treatment options. When performing this treatment, the patient wears protective eye goggles to guard against accidental exposure to the laser. The treatment area is first treated with an anesthetic to provide patient comfort throughout the treatment.

With the treatment area numb, the physician will insert a laser fiber into the problem vein. Using low energy, the fiber is slowly heated with the laser energy damaging the vein wall, which collapses and shrinks and eventually disappears. Ultrasound is used to verify the placement of the laser. With the vein fibrosed and unable to carry blood, other veins in the body will handle blood flow. Endovenous laser ablation usually takes 30 minutes to an hour to perform and is performed in a doctor's office or clinic in most cases.

There are no scars associated with endovenous laser ablation and a short recovery period compared with surgical procedures to get rid of varicose veins. This procedure also provides almost immediate relief from the symptoms of varicose veins. Any minor soreness or bruising may be treated with over-the-counter medication, although patients are encouraged to speak with their doctor before taking any medicines. Following the procedure, the individual is often encouraged to walk and resume their normal activities.

As with many medical procedures, there is a risk of certain complications associated with endovenous laser ablation. These may include numbness, a pulling sensation, phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis and infection. Receiving treatment from a trained and talented medical professional is important, as other complications associated with poor technique may be associated with this treatment as well. Many patients have found success with this treatment, but speaking with a vein specialist in Alpharetta is encouraged to go over the possible risks and complications associated with this procedure.

One of the common concerns that patients have when seeking treatment for varicose veins is whether destroying the greater saphenous vein is harmful. The answer is no. A healthy greater saphenous vein should not be destroyed in case it is needed in future open heart surgeries, but a greater saphenous vein that is thick and thrombosed may actually be detrimental to circulation. In this case, destroying the greater saphenous vein is not harmful and may actually improve blood flow.

When performed for a patient suffering from symptoms of varicose veins, endovenous laser ablation may be covered by insurance. To determine if the procedure is covered, individuals should contact their insurance company.

Learn more about endovenous laser ablation in Alpharetta, Georgia..

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