Laser Treatment

The term "LASER" stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In this technique heat energy is used to close the varicose veins. The heat energy is generated by a special machine, and delivered into the blood vessels by special “diode laser” fibers.

This Endovenous Laser method of treatment of varicose veins avoids surgical cuts and scars, and is performed under local anesthesia. Most types of varicose veins can be treated using this technique.

The Laser fiber into the veins

The Bioletic Laser Machine

When the laser energy is delivered into the vein, the heat energy is selectively absorbed by the water content of the blood in the vein, and causes damage to the inner lining (intima) of the vein, causing the vein to collapse and close. Later on the vein permanently closes due to a process of fibrosis, and the residual tissue is removed by the body mechanisms, so that after a period of time, no vein is seen at all.

The Laser Technique of treatment of Varicose Veins:

1. The case of Varicose veins to be treated is first evaluated by a sonography test, called a Doppler ultrasound test.

2. The course of the vein is then marked onto the skin.

3. Local anesthesia is infiltrated at the site of needle entry into the vein. The vein is entered with a needle, under ultrasound guidance, similar to the procedure of drawing blood from a vein during a blood test.

4. Through the needle a guide wire is threaded into the vein, and over it a small plastic tube called a catheter. Through this hollow catheter, the thin laser fibre is advanced into the vein; this entire procedure is performed under guidance of sonography.

5. The position of the Laser fiber in the vein is confirmed by the red light at the tip of the laser fiber which shines through the skin.

6. Now, generous amounts of dilute anesthetic solution called Tumescent Anasthesia is injected all along the course of the vein. This is done via very thin needles, and under ultrasound guidance. This anesthetic solution is injected all around the vein, so that the vein collapses over the laser fiber within. Also, the layer of anesthetic solution around the vein prevents heat energy from travelling outside the vein to surrounding structures.

7. The laser fiber is now connected to the laser machine, and laser energy is delivered into the vein. This causes an immediate closure of the vein, which can be seen on the ultrasound image. The laser fiber is gradually withdrawn so as to close the complete length of the vein.

8. The end result can be seen almost immediately, in the form of collapsed veins.

9. At the end of the procedure the catheter is removed from the vein, leaving only a small puncture mark. This heals within a few days.

10. At the end of the procedure, a compression bandage or stocking is applied over the treated leg, and the patient is made to walk for about 15 to 20 minutes. Most patients can resume their normal activities and driving the next day.

Radiofrequency Ablation for Varicose Veins

The basic principle of treatment of varicose veins using RFA is the same as Laser. The use of thermal ( heat energy) to close the veins. In this technique the heat is generated by radiofrequency waves, and the energy is delivered into the veins by a special RFA catheter. The technique of treatment remains the same as laser treatment.

Side Effects

The LASER ABLATION method is well tolerated and has few side effects. A large proportion of the patients treated in this way are able to resume their normal activities immediately following surgery. Some patients may experience a slight ache along the shrunken veins, for which local cooling and an anti-inflammatory ointment will provide quick and reliable relief. Very rarely is there hematoma formation.
In addition to the treatment of small teleangiectasia and spider veins, the laser is also suited for the treatment of varices caused by incompetence of the long and short saphenous veins, as well as acting upon the lateral and reticular veins.
Compared to conventional vein therapy such as the so-called ”stripping” procedure, the Laser Ablation technique has a combination of advantages: it is minimally invasive and therefore a less traumatic procedure with optimal cosmetic effect and excellent and extremely promising results: the patient walks in for the treatment and walks out with his/her varices problems solved within one hour!

Comparison Of Laser Procedure With Surgery

Laser Surgery
1. OPD Procedure 1. Hospital procedure
2. Local anesthesia 2. General anesthesia
3. One hour procedure 3. Three - Four hours procedure
4. No rest 4. Rest for one week
5. Resumes work same day 5. Resume work after two or three weeks
6. Long term recurrence is 2-4% 6. Long term recurrence is 20-40%
7. Affordable 7. Expensive

Varicose Veins of Great Saphenous Vein Case Studies of Laser Treatment

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