Laser vein treatments are a method of removing varicose veins in the legs and arms. The heat of the laser is used to damage the problematic veins, causing scar tissue to form and close the vein off. Eventually, because the vein is no longer receiving a supply of blood, it will die and disappear completely in a year or two.
The two main types of treatments are simple laser treatment and endovenous laser treatment.
Simple laser treatment is best for treating small spider veins and varicose veins that have formed just below the skin. It typically takes more than one treatment session to completely remove the affected veins; treatments are usually scheduled every six to 12 weeks. The doctor begins by treating the large veins that feed the smaller varicose veins, until eventually the entire area is closed off.
In endovenous laser treatment, a small laser fiber is inserted into the vein. This fiber is then used to close off the vein to help it slowly die. This procedure does require a light sedative or local anesthesia. It is an effective alternative for larger varicose veins that would typically require surgery to remove.
Laser vein treatment is one of the most effective ways to remove varicose veins. For example, studies of endovenous laser treatment have shown that it is effective 94 percent of the time at closing a vein.
Laser treatments have a much shorter recovery time than more invasive surgical procedures and involve less pain and side effects. This means that patients will have no downtime and can immediately return to work and their normal routine. Because it is also a less involved procedure, costs are much cheaper than alternatives such as vein stripping or ambulatory phlebectomy.