Endovenous Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins: A Less Invasive Solution
Varicose veins, those unsightly and often painful dilated veins that commonly appear in the legs, are a prevalent issue affecting about 30% of the population. While women, particularly after pregnancy, are more prone to these veins, men are not exempt from them. While varicose veins can be primarily an aesthetic concern, they can also cause discomfort, including heaviness, itching, and cramps.
Vascular surgeons often recommend surgical intervention in these cases to mitigate health risks like phlebitis, thrombosis, and other complications. In more severe cases, where truncal varicose veins occur due to the failure of main venous valves, the risks escalate.
The Evolution of Varicose Vein Treatment
Traditionally, surgical saphenectomy was the go-to procedure to address problematic varicose veins. This surgery involved the removal of the affected saphenous vein through multiple incisions. However, it’s an invasive technique associated with a lengthy recovery period.
Today, vascular surgeons favor a less invasive alternative known as endovenous laser treatment for truncal varicose veins. This outpatient procedure, which does not require hospitalization, allows patients to swiftly resume their daily activities.
Exploring Endovenous Laser Surgery
Endovenous laser surgery targets the saphenous vein using heat generated by an optic fiber. This controlled heat application cauterizes (seals) the varicose vein, causing it to shrink and gradually reabsorb. Blood is then rerouted through healthy veins in the leg.
The objectives of this treatment are to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and enhance the aesthetic appearance of the legs.
The Procedure in Detail:
- Precise Diagnosis: Vascular surgeons begin by employing Doppler ultrasound, a technique that utilizes ultrasound waves to identify blood vessel flow and diameter. This aids in the accurate localization of affected veins.
- Local Anesthesia and Incision: Following the diagnosis, local anesthesia is administered, and a small incision, typically around knee level, is made. Through this incision, a small catheter is inserted to accommodate the laser fiber.
- Laser Activation: The laser is activated with the appropriate power to cauterize the problematic vein.
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Endovenous laser surgery is minimally invasive, resulting in a relatively swift recovery. Patients may experience mild bruising and manageable pain in the initial days, which can be effectively controlled with prescribed painkillers.
While patients can walk immediately following the procedure, it’s advisable to refrain from rigorous physical activities, saunas, and swimming pools. To reduce inflammation during the initial two weeks, the use of compression stockings is often recommended.
In conclusion, endovenous laser treatment for varicose veins offers a less invasive and more convenient alternative to traditional surgery. This procedure not only relieves discomfort but also aims to enhance the appearance of the legs. As medical technology continues to advance, individuals dealing with varicose veins can benefit from these innovative and effective treatment options.