How Endovenous Laser Ablation Uses a Laser Fiber to Treat Varicose Veins

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Endovenous laser ablation has helped patients in Helena, Montana and throughout the country relieve varicose veins in a safe, effective way. This is a procedure that involves the use of a laser fiber to heat and collapse problem veins. There is minimal recovery time associated with endovenous laser ablation and the procedure does not require a general anesthetic like many surgical procedures designed for the removal of varicose veins. Moreover, endovenous laser ablation often means a reduced chance of stasis ulcers, more efficient blood circulation and relief from aches, heaviness and pain caused by this condition.

Before the treatment begins, patients are provided with protective eye goggles to shield their eyes from accidental exposure to the laser light. A topical anesthetic is then used to anesthetize the skin over the treatment area. The laser fiber is then inserted into the problem vein, using ultrasound technology to verify the position of the laser. Using low energy, the laser is slowly heated, which damages the vein wall. This causes the vein to collapse and eventually close entirely. Blood is then no longer able to flow through the vein and blood flow is carried out by other veins deeper in the body.

Most endovenous laser ablation procedures take between 30 minutes and an hour to perform, but this may vary on a case by case basis. A dressing is applied once the probe is removed, and the patient is discharged in about an hour in most cases. Patients are encouraged to walk and resume other normal activities following treatment with endovenous laser ablation. No scars are left behind and endovenous laser ablation is associated with minor postoperative pain.

One of the major issues facing patients who choose endovenous laser ablation is whether destroying the greater saphenous vein is harmful. In fact, the greater saphenous vein should not be destroyed if it is healthy, but an unhealthy greater saphenous vein may actually inhibit blood flow. Its removal in this case, is not harmful. Before undergoing treatment, however, patients should discuss this with a vein specialist in the Helena area for more information.

Like many medical procedures, there are certain risks and complications associated with endovenous laser ablation. Mild numbness and tingling, a pulling sensation, deep vein thrombosis, infection and phlebitis have been associated with this procedure. Minor bruising and swelling are common and should subside on their own within a couple of days.

Learn more about endovenous laser ablation in Helena, Montana.

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