Many people suffer from vein disease including varicose veins. Left untreated, this condition leads to pain, fatigue, burning, swelling, and itching. At Beach Cities Vein & Laser Center in El Segundo, CA, we want you to know you do not have to suffer alone. Today we will discuss what you can expect from endovenous laser therapy and how it can improve your life.
What Is Endovenous Laser Therapy?
Endovenous laser therapy, sometimes referred to as ELT or EVLT, is the gold standard in the treatment of varicose veins. It uses laser injury, a highly concentrated beam of light, and is minimally invasive. It requires no hospitalization or complicated surgery. Endovenous laser therapy is performed to eliminate varicose veins, reduce symptoms, and minimize the risk of complications from the disease such as blood clots.
Simple laser treatment treats spider veins and small varicose veins on the surface of your skin. If you have poor blood circulation in these veins, the specialist will first have to treat the larger “feeder” veins connected to them through the use of endovenous laser treatment. This treatment is not painful; local anesthesia is used to numb the treated site.
Varicose veins are enlarged, gnarled veins. Commonly affected veins are found in your legs and feet due to the increased pressure of standing and walking upright experienced by the veins of your lower body. While varicose veins are merely a cosmetic concern for some, for others it is a seriously uncomfortable condition characterized by aching pain. They can also signal a greater risk for certain circulatory problems.
Complications of varicose veins include:
- Blood clots – when veins deep within the legs become enlarged, the affected leg may swell significantly. Sudden led swelling may indicate a blood clot, known medically as thrombophlebitis, and warrants urgent medical attention.
- Bleeding – veins close to the skin bleed when they burst. This is usually only mild bleeding. However, any bleeding warrants medical attention as there is a high risk of it happening again.
- Ulcers – forming on the skin near varicose veins, ulcers are extremely painful and often found near the ankles. Ulcers are due to long-term fluid buildup in your tissues, created by the excessive pressure of blood within affected veins.
Risk factors are as follows:
- Age – your risk of developing varicose veins increases as you age.
- Sex – women are more likely to develop varicose veins.
- Family history – you are much more likely to develop varicose veins if other family members had them too.
- Obesity – carrying an excess of weight puts added pressure on your veins.
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time – your blood flows poorly if you are in the same position for long periods.
How Does This Treatment Work?
During endovenous laser therapy, a specialist inserts a small optic fiber through a needle into the diseased vein under the guidance of ultrasound. The laser is then activated. As the optic fiber is removed from the vein, it heats and closes the vein. Then, the blood circulating through that vein is naturally redirected to your healthy veins. As time passes, the body absorbs the closed vein.
How Long Is A Session?
From start to finish, endovenous laser therapy sessions only last about an hour. There is no pain associated with this treatment method.
Benefits of ELT Over Surgery
If you are not a candidate for the surgical removal of varicose veins, do not worry. There are benefits of laser treatment over surgery. These include:
- Less painful
- No recovery period
- No scarring
- No general anesthesia
- Lower recurrence of varicose veins
It can eliminate symptoms like aching, throbbing, heaviness, fatigue, restlessness, night cramps, pruritus, and spontaneous hemorrhage.
What To Expect
If you think endovenous laser therapy could improve your life, you may wonder what to expect. Let’s discuss.
Your Initial Appointment
During your first appointment, an experienced vein specialist will consult you. Dr. Mark Rayman will conduct an examination of your condition and speak with you about your diagnosis and treatment plan. He and his team will be happy to take the time and answer any questions you may have regarding the treatment process, insurance, and more!
Before the Procedure – Venous Mapping
You may be asked to come in for a “venous mapping” if you are diagnosed with a large vein disease. Dr. Rayman will use ultrasound to map out the veins in your legs. This ultrasound is used to prepare a comprehensive venous flow map, illustrating the path the blood takes that flows through your abnormal veins and where the trouble begins. It will give you a detailed view of your varicose vein system.
Before your treatment, wear loose-fitted, comfortable clothing. Please arrive early to check in and prepare for the treatment. During the treatment, the lasers target the pigment in your blood, so blood vessels are destroyed without affecting any surrounding skin. The local anesthetic ensures your comfort throughout this FDA-approved laser therapy.
After the Treatment
After the endovenous laser therapy, there is no downtime. You can return to normal activities immediately. You will be asked to return for follow-up appointments to identify and address developing problems before they manifest. While your treated veins should not come back, other veins can become abnormal over time.
Am I A Good Candidate?
A good candidate for endovenous laser therapy no longer wants to suffer from uncomfortable physical pain and other various symptoms. They want to feel more confident about their appearance. If you have small or twisty veins, you may want to search for a different treatment method as the catheter will have to navigate through your veins. Ideal candidates for endovenous laser therapy are also in good general physical and mental health.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation
If you suffer from painful varicose veins, you are not alone. Many people suffer from this condition each year. To learn more about endovenous laser therapy and how it can benefit you, contact the friendly professionals at Beach Cities Vein & Laser Center in El Segundo, CA today to schedule your initial consultation. We can’t wait to help you gain confidence and put peace back in your life.