What's Involved with Endovenous Laser Ablation?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Varicose veins are often troubling to individuals who are suffering from them in the Plattsburgh, New York area as well as in other parts of the country. They may appear bluish or purplish in color and may appear bulging from the skin, giving them quite the unsightly appearance. This may lead some to feel embarrassed or self-conscious as a result, while varicose veins may also cause pain and heaviness in the legs, making treatment important for many sufferers of the condition. Endovenous laser ablation is a minimally-invasive treatment option that has helped many patients overcome this condition safely and effectively.

Endovenous laser ablation is performed in a physician's office or a clinic and involves the insertion of a laser fiber into a problem vein to destroy it from the inside. The laser heats the lining of the vein, which damages it and causes it to collapse, shrink and disappear entirely. Most procedures take about 30 minutes to perform and the procedure provides patients with more efficient blood circulation with the problem vein eliminated. Other benefits associated with endovenous laser ablation include a reduced chance of stasis ulcers; relief from aches, heaviness and pain; improved body image and self-confidence; and it is minimally-invasive, quick and easy.

Patients are provided protective eye goggles to prevent damage in the event of unplanned exposure to the laser. The skin over the treatment area will be anesthetized using a topical anesthetic to prepare the patient for treatment. The physician then inserts a laser fiber, which is identified using ultrasound, into the problem vein. The laser is slowly heated using low energy, which damages the vein walls and causes them to shrink and close. The vein becomes fibrosed and cannot carry blood so other veins in the area take over blood flow.

The probe is removed after treatment and a small dressing is applied. Patients may be provided a compression bandage that should be worn for about a week. There are no scars left behind and endovenous laser ablation is associated with minimal postoperative pain, a rapid recovery period and provides individuals with almost immediate relief from symptoms of varicose veins. Any minor soreness or bruising may be treated using over-the-counter medication, but patients should check with the Plattsburgh vein specialist before taking any medicine. Patients are typically encouraged to walk and resume normal activities following treatment. They may be provided a follow up appointment about a week later to check the status of the procedure.

There may be some risks associated with endovenous laser ablation of which patients should be aware before undergoing treatment. This may include mild numbness around the thigh, a pulling sensation, phlebitis, deep venous thrombosis, infection and bruising. Other complications may arise due to incorrect application or mistakes during the procedure, which is why patients are encouraged to seek treatment from a trained, experienced vein specialist in the Plattsburgh area.

When performed on a patient with varicose veins that are considered a medical concern, insurance may cover the cost of treatment. However, insurance companies may require patients first try a trial period of wearing compression stockings and taking pain medication to determine if treatment is necessary. For further information about insurance coverage, patients should speak with their insurance company as well as a vein specialist in their area.

Learn more about endovenous laser ablation in Plattsburgh, New York

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions