How Long Do Vein Procedures Take?
It varies depending on what needs to be done. Usually between 1-2 hours.
Are the Procedures Painful?
Most patients sleep through the majority of the operation. When the anesthetic is given through very small needles the patients will feel some stinging that is short lived. A few days after the anesthetic wears off, some patients will feel some tenderness along the course of the closed vein. More pain than this is rare.
Is the Laser the Only Way to Take Care of These Bad Veins?
No. These veins can be removed under general anesthesia in the hospital. This is not recommended [see last week’s discussion]. The veins can be closed by a technique called radio frequency ablation. This method takes longer and has a higher recurrence rate than the laser. Its argument that there is less post operative discomfort is simply not true when it is compared to a 1320 laser, which we use all the time. The veins can be closed with sclerotherapy [injection of a chemical to close the vein]. The laser is quicker, safer, and gives a more long lasting result with less recurrence than sclerotherapy.
I started having trouble with my veins when I was pregnant with my second child. I would like to have my veins fixed, but I plan to have another child.
Should I Wait Until I Am Finished Having Children to Get My Veins Treated?
You do not need to wait. Some patients are miserable during pregnancy because of their varicose veins. When your pregnancy is over, the hormonal levels return to normal. Unfortunately, the veins in the legs do not always follow suit. They remain enlarged and symptomatic. These veins only get worse with each successive pregnancy. The best option is to see a vein specialist and get a specific diagnosis. These problem veins can be easily treated before you get pregnant again. This will afford you a lot of relief from pain and swelling in the next pregnancy.
I’m confused about the word “laser”. My friend went to a spa and had a laser used on her skin spider veins.
Is This the Same Laser That You Are Talking About?
No. The lasers that are used on the skin have a specific wave length that targets the blood in the small spider vessels in the top layer of the skin. There are several different wavelengths available and it turns out that different situations require different wavelengths to get the best results. We recommend that 1st line therapy for spider veins in the lower extremities should be sclerotherapy and not the laser.
The laser that we use to close the larger veins that are the underlying cause of most vein disease is called an endovenous laser. Endovenous means “inside the vein”. The wavelength is designed to target water, and since the lining cells of veins are over 90% water, they make an excellent target for this laser. The laser fiber is put into the target vein under ultrasound guidance. The laser energy targets the lining cells of the vessel and causes it to close.
Schedule an appointment with a certified vein specialist to have all your questions answered regarding your vein health.