Unlike spider veins, laser therapy can not be directly used to treat varicose veins. Spider veins can be simply erased by pointing a laser beam. Varicose veins are very large and can not be treated with laser in such a manner. The amount of laser heat necessary for laser treatment of varicose veins is enough to potentially casue severe skin burns.
However, today, we have a minimally invasive technique known as EVLT. In Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) , a flexible laser probe is inserted into the varicose vein through a small needle hole in the thigh. The laser is then fired and the heat causes the varicose vein to collapse and eventually disappear. EVLT is an outpatient procedure done under ultrasound guidance.
The procedure does not require general anesthesia and is relatively fast. At the end of the procedure, there is a small dressing applied. The majority of individuals are back to work within 48 hours. The procedure is only good for a large varicose vein in the thigh area
EVLT is now available all over the USA and the procedure is being performed by dermatologists, radiologists, plastic and vascular surgeons. The cost of EVLT is variable ranging anywhere from $300-500.
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