Are you suffering from the effects of varicose veins? They aren’t just a cosmetic issue. Varicose veins are a sign of underlying vein disease and can cause a range of painful or uncomfortable symptoms. They can also put you at risk for dangerous health conditions like blood clots and venous ulcers.
At USA Vein Clinics, we offer several state-of-the-art vein treatment options, including:
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), or laser therapy for varicose veins, is widely referred to as the gold-standard of vein treatment. To collect important insights on this key technique, we recently conducted an industry-wide survey of experts in the field. In it, we posed the question, “How does laser therapy reduce varicose vein symptoms?”
Below, we summarize the resulting insights and discuss how laser therapy can reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
What Is Vein Disease?
Vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency, develops when your vein valves are damaged. This may happen for a variety of reasons. When this occurs, your veins may struggle to efficiently pump blood against gravity back to the heart. Instead, blood begins to pool, most often in the lower extremities –– your legs, ankles, and feet. Over time, this pooling of blood leads to the development of varicose veins.
If you have a family history of vein disease, you are more likely to develop varicose veins. Periods of prolonged standing or sitting can also increase your risks. Additional risk factors include being:
- Over age 50
- Obese or overweight
Common vein disease symptoms include:
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Tired, aching legs
- Burning in the calf or thigh
- Leg pain that feels better when you walk or raise your legs
- Itchy, dry skin
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Difficulty standing for long periods
- Non-healing wounds on your legs
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we recommend contacting a vein specialist as soon as possible. You may be surprised to learn that minimally-invasive, non-surgical vein treatment can quickly bring you symptomatic relief.
What Is Endovenous Laser Therapy?
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is a minimally-invasive, office-based varicose vein treatment. During an EVLT procedure, ultrasound-guided technology uses precision lasers to collapse and close off malfunctioning veins. Afterwards, these veins are reabsorbed by the body and blood flow is diverted to healthy, surrounding veins.
- Your vascular specialist will numb the affected region with local anesthesia
- Using ultrasound guidance, they will insert a tiny laser fiber into the problematic vein
- Laser energy is then used to heat up the vein
- This heat creates scarring, which causes the vein to collapse and close off
- The entire process takes only 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how many veins require treatment
You can leave immediately afterwards and resume most normal activities. The majority of patients report little post-procedure discomfort, if any at all.
To ensure proper healing, your doctor may recommend:
- Before EVLT: Be sure to share details of your health history and list of current medications with your vascular specialist.
- Immediately following your procedure: On the same day, walk around for 10-15 minutes each hour to ensure healthy blood circulation.
- For several days afterwards: Wear prescribed compression garments as instructed. Avoid inactivity, overly strenuous activities, the sun, hot baths, swimming pools, and the beach.
- At any point: Don’t hesitate to contact your provider with any concerns over your healing. While complications are rare, they can include infection, blood clots, and other serious health conditions.
What Are the Benefits of Endovenous Laser Therapy?
EVLT offers many benefits, including:
- It can effectively reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort caused by varicose veins
- Offers a minimally-invasive alternative to painful surgery
- Performed in-office, so you can leave immediately following treatment
- Most patients experience no downtime and a full recovery after only a few days
- There is no scarring or stitches involved
- Returns healthy blood flow to the lower extremities
- Generally results in an improved quality of life
What Are the Drawbacks of Endovenous Laser Therapy?
EVLT has only a couple of drawbacks, which also apply to all other vein treatment techniques. These include:
- Additional treatments may be necessary to resolve vein symptoms
- In some cases, varicose veins can grow back
To avoid future issues with varicose veins, we encourage you to follow a healthy lifestyle. To reduce your risks, we recommend that you:
- Lose any excess weight
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time
- Move around regularly throughout the day
- Elevate your legs when possible
- Work with your doctor to control high blood pressure and diabetes
- Consider wearing compression socks
Endovenous Laser Therapy at USA Vein Clinics
At USA Vein Clinics, we want you to experience a life free of vein-related pain and discomfort. As a result, we are determined to make vein treatment as effective, safe, and convenient as possible. That is why we offer 90 clinic locations nationwide, along with telemedicine options for virtual doctor visits.
To learn more about how Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) can reduce your varicose vein symptoms, please call 888.768.3467. Or, you can also schedule an initial consultation online with one of our leading experts. During your visit, we will access your vein health and make any necessary treatment recommendations.
We look forward to helping you say goodbye to varicose veins!