During sclerotherapy, we inject a chemical into your varicose veins. The chemical irritates and scars your veins from the inside. Blood that would normally return to the heart through these veins returns to the heart through other veins. Your body will eventually absorb the veins that received the injection.
Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT)
EVLT is available for larger varicose veins in the legs; it is performed in the office and does NOT require hospitalization. A laser fiber is passed through a thin tube (catheter) into the vein. While doing this, we watch the vein on an ultrasound screen. Laser is less painful than vein ligation and stripping surgery, and it has a shorter recovery time. Local anesthesia or a light sedative is needed for laser treatment.
What To Expect After Treatment
You are likely to be able to return to your normal daily routine after simple laser treatment.
After endovenous laser treatment, you will wear compression stockings for 1 week or more. To follow up, we will use duplex ultrasound to make sure that the vein is closed.
Why It Is Done
Endovenous laser treatment is used to close off a larger varicose vein, instead of using surgery to remove it.
How Well It Works
Endovenous laser treatment. Endovenous laser treatment closes veins about 94 out of 100 times. It doesn’t work about 6 out of 100 times.
If endovenous laser treatment does not close a vein, you may need a second treatment. In some cases, vein surgery is recommended.
Spider vein laser treatments:
Another type of laser can be used to treat the small “spider veins” on the skin surface; this works best for veins less than 1 mm in diameter
Side effects of laser treatment include:
- Skin burns.
- Skin coloring changes.
- Feelings of burning, pain, or prickling after recovery, from nerve damage (less likely than after vein stripping surgery).
- Small or large blood clotting in the vein or a deep vein (less likely than after vein stripping surgery).
What To Think About
Compared to vein stripping and ligation surgery, endovenous laser and radiofrequency treatments usually cause less pain and have a shorter recovery time. This is because these treatments are done through a small incision. A larger groin incision is not needed. Plus, these treatments do not require general or spinal anesthesia.