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Avoid Surgery with Noninvasive Varicose Vein Treatments

by Jane Meggitt

Getting rid of your unsightly varicose veins doesn’t mean you must undergo surgery, or deal with its scarring aftereffects. New methods of varicose vein treatment use lasers and require only local anesthesia and a mild sedative. The procedures are done in the surgeon’s office, and your activities aren’t restricted beforehand or afterward. This noninvasive method replaces the older practice of “vein-stripping,” and is suitable for the majority of varicose vein patients.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation is the technical term for what is generally referred to as laser therapy for varicose veins. It’s a two-step process. The hour-long procedure consists of the surgeon making a micro-incision in the affected veins and threading a thin fiber through the tiny hole. All steps are guided by ultrasound. Pulses of laser light accompany the fiber through the vein, effectively sealing it shut.

Mini-phlebectomy

Approximately a week after your laser therapy, you’ll return to the surgeon’s office for the second part of your treatment. This is the mini-phlebectomy, which treats the veins branching from the varicose veins. These are removed via a series of micro-incisions along the primary vein. With this method, there’s no scarring.

Your health insurance or Medicare should cover these procedures, as long as they are not done solely for cosmetic purposes. Most varicose veins cause swelling or pain, so laser therapy should be covered. Check with your insurance company prior to the surgery to ensure you are covered.

Side Effects

Not only are these noninvasive treatments much easier on you, but patients are less likely to develop blood clots after undergoing noninvasive surgery than they are with conventional vein stripping. Side effects are usually minimal, and may include:

  • Numbness
  • Discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Leg cramps

Any side effects should disappear within a few days, although bruising may remain evident for several weeks. Call your doctor if you experience substantial pain. Another side effect is the possible recurrence of the varicose vein down the line.

Laser therapy success rates are approximately 98 percent, about the same level as vein stripping. Unless you fall into the relatively rare number of varicose vein patients who must undergo conventional surgery, having your veins removed via laser makes more sense.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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