Varicose veins and spider veins are vein disorders that are usually seen in the legs. We can treat them both with laser treatments that are safe and effective. Laser treatments are a highly focused beam of light that creates scar tissue that in turn closes the vein. Once it loses its source of blood, the treated vein dies and will disappear over time. There are two main types of laser treatments including simple laser treatment and endovenous laser treatment.
We perform simple laser treatment on the outside of your skin. This treatment is suitable for small varicose veins and spider veins that are just under the surface of the skin. More than one session is usually needed, and they can be from six to 12 weeks apart. In some cases, if the larger vein that feeds these small veins has poor blood circulation, it will need to be treated first.
We also perform endovenous laser treatments for larger varicose veins in the legs. For this treatment, a catheter is inserted into the vein, and the laser is passed through it while the doctor watches on a duplex ultrasound screen.
Laser treatment for vein disorders is usually less painful than stripping and vein ligation and has a shorter recovery time. It requires only a light sedative or local anesthesia. You’ll be able to walk after the treatment. If you have endovenous laser treatment, we’ll ask you to wear compression stockings for at least one week, and we’ll follow-up with duplex ultrasound to make sure the vein is closed. In some cases, simple laser treatment is performed as a second treatment after a larger varicose vein has been treated with endovenous laser.
Varicose veins are most common for people age 50 and older, but they do occur on younger people too. Normal veins have valves that stop blood from flowing backwards. They keep the blood flowing against gravity to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood will pool in the vein and result in varicose veins.
Most varicose veins can be seen on the surface of the skin, but there are other symptoms that occur including:
- Cramping or throbbing in the legs
- Swelling and a heavy feeling
- Pain that worsens after prolonged standing or sitting
- An irritating rash
- Darker skin
- Restless legs
Varicose veins and spider veins may not be a serious health problem. However, they can cause a great deal of discomfort and are unsightly. Spider veins can also cause burning and itching. It is possible that untreated varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems such as:
- Skin ulcers and sores caused by long-term backed-up blood
- Thin skin over the varicose vein that starts to bleed and cause significant blood loss
- Superficial thrombophlebitis that has the symptoms of red skin, swelling and pain and a tender and warm vein
- Deep vein thrombosis, which can be very serious