Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins visible under the skin. They most commonly occur in the legs. They are caused by weak valves in the veins that allow blood to pool in the veins instead of returning to the heart. Eventually, the veins enlarge and become visible. In many cases, varicose veins are unsightly, but not a cause for concern. However, sometimes they cause pain and swelling in the legs and feet.
Traditionally, troublesome or unsightly varicose veins were removed via a surgical procedure. Today, however, many unsightly and troublesome varicose veins can be treated with a simple endovenous laser treatment. The laser is inserted into the vein and is used to heat the walls of the vein. The heating procedure destroys the walls of the veins, and they collapse and are then naturally reabsorbed by the body. Most people and most varicose veins can be successfully treated with endovenous lasers.
Advantages of ELVeS®
Unlike some methods to treat varicose veins, ELVeS® endovenous laser treatment does not cause scarring or pigmentation at the treatment site. It is practically pain-free, has a quick recovery period, and can be used to treat almost all types of varicose veins.
What to Expect
The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes per vein. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin, and a tiny incision is made. The laser is inserted into the vein through the incision. The procedure is viewed on ultrasound to ensure the laser is in the correct position. More local anesthetic will be administered along the length of the vein. The laser is then activated and it is slowly withdrawn from the vein, heating the walls of the vein as it is pulled out. This part of the procedure takes about 5 minutes and may be accompanied by burning smells, but it is not painful. A dressing is applied to the incision site (the incision is so tiny it does not need stitches). The patient can return home immediately.
During the recovery, it is essential that the patient wear compression stockings for two weeks. Most normal activities can be resumed immediately. The treated leg cannot get wet for the first two weeks. Many patients experience some mild pain about five days after the treatment. The vein will gradually disappear over the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Unpleasant symptoms due to varicose veins usually subside after a single endovenous laser treatment. However, patients concerned about the cosmetic result may require an additional procedure called an avulsion. About six weeks after the laser treatment, any remaining visible portions of the vein can be pulled out through tiny incisions. An avulsion procedure is performed under local anesthetic. The incisions are so small that stitches are not necessary to close them, and they heal readily with no visible scarring.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are interested in laser vein treatment, South Texas Vein Institute in Edinburg can help. Our medical team can determine the safest and most effective treatment for your individual needs. We offer a variety of vein treatments, and we’ll help you get the best possible results. Contact South Texas Vein Institute today to schedule your consultation.