Is Laser Treatment Really Effective for Treating Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are never good to look at. But in spite of their ugly appearances, medical studies and science claim that they don’t pose a direct harm to our health. They can, however, carry a potential for some serious complications if left unattended.

According to statistics, around 40 million Americans suffer from varicose veins, most of which are women. Fortunately, advanced technologies were developed to counter the effects, or even eliminate, varicose veins. One of them is laser treatment.

Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins

Laser treatment is considered the best option for treating varicose veins based on a new study. According to the study, 798 participants who suffered from varicose veins underwent treatment at several surgery centers in the UK for a span of 4 years (from November 2008 to October 2012). The treatment involves either one of the three:

  • Using laser to close off the veins
  • Removing the veins through surgical means
  • Injecting the veins with a drug “foam”

Six months after the study, researchers compared the results and found that all three methods were able to reduce the symptoms associated with varicose veins. However, laser treatment proved to be the better option since it displayed fewer complications.

Laser Treatment’s Effectiveness

The problem is, there’s no treatment method for varicose veins that can produce 100% successful results. However, EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation) is the closest one can get. If you decide to undergo a varicose vein treatment in Boise or in just about any city you’re from, going for a laser treatment can give you the highest percentage of success.

In fact, an analysis conducted by the Journal of Vascular Surgery pointed out that 94 out of 100 procedures were able to successfully close the affected veins. This rate will depend on the treatment center you chose. However, in the event that a treatment fails, you are required to undergo a second treatment with or without the use of sclerotherapy.

Also, you shouldn’t expect the treated veins to disappear right away. In fact, the process is gradual and recovery will take time.

Are there Any Possible Side Effects?

Fortunately, laser treatment has proven itself to be quite safe and effective. In fact, for the 20 long years that it’s been put into practice, there has been no major issue or serious complication that occurred.

While serious complications are quite rare, there is a very small chance of developing DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a dangerous blood clot condition. There’s also the possibility of adjacent nerve damage brought about by heat produced by the laser. This, therefore, requires careful attention to detail and the use of local anesthesia for the procedure.

Some other complications that may arise include skin pigmentation, burns, and a “tightening” sensation around the affected area. There are also some patients who reported to have experienced a mild or tingling pain several days after undergoing laser treatment.

The Bottom Line

Though there haven’t been any safety concerns that were raised about the use of laser treatment for treating varicose veins, you should still keep in mind that some lasers are just fairly new to the field, and there hasn’t been enough information we can use to gauge their long-term sequelae.