Sclerotherapy is the first-choice technique for varicose vein treatment. However, endovenous, or surface lasers, are still a very attractive option for many patients. In this blog post, we will explore the use of the laser for the treatment of venous problems.
As mentioned in our previous article about varicose veins, these veins can cause discomfort, pain and serious complications. Several treatment options are available to alleviate this condition.
Assessment and treatment options
A clinical exam, performed by Dr. Bernier, will assess the severity of the venous problem. The examination includes an ultrasound, by Echo-Doppler, which Dr. Bernier uses to determine the most appropriate type of treatment. This examination assesses the depth and location of incompetent veins.
Dr. Bernier will guide you to the treatment that is best for you using this diagnosis.
Some small visible veins, located at the surface of the skin, are often caused by larger underlying veins that are not detectable to the naked eye. Because these underlying varicose veins are the cause of sclerotherapy resistance in small superficial veins, it is important to perform an ultrasound examination to locate these larger underlying problems.
Dr. Bernier always treats the “leakage points” beforehand and then continues the treatment by taking care of the small secondary veins to ensure an optimal result.
Endovenous laser and varicose veins
The endovenous laser is a non-invasive technique that exploits the same technology. It can be used to treat larger veins, such as saphenous veins.
In this case, the endovenous laser can replace stripping (vein surgery). However, the laser can be relatively painful and, therefore, requires local anesthesia. On the other hand, compared to sclerotherapy, the endovenous laser requires significant convalescence and can cause more complications.
Thanks to the heat emitted by the laser, the vein is destroyed and fibrosis occurs which the body gets rid of it within three to six months.
Note also that the endovenous laser cannot be used on superficial veins (due to the risk of skin burns) or veins that are too tortuous. For these, echosclerosis will is a more appropriate technique for treatment.
Surface laser and varicose veins
This type of laser is used to treat superficial veins that are not connected to incompetent, underlying and larger veins. This confirms the need to obtain a medical evaluation with Dr. Bernier before proceeding with the treatments.
Dr. Bernier will discuss with you alternatives to endovenous laser. These alternatives involve other energy sources such as radiofrequency, cryotherapy and the use of Venaseal (tissue glue).
The surface laser can, therefore, be used as a complement to another technique, such as surface sclerotherapy or microsclerosis. The laser will be useful on varicose veins that are too small to be treated by injection. The complete procedure includes the search for sources of reflux and their treatment. This can be done either by echosclerosis or surface sclerotherapy. If necessary, the surface laser can also be used as a final step to improve the results and reduce the progression of the disease.
The surface laser treatment is performed by a nurse under Dr. Bernier’s prescription. The same aplies for small veins, capillaries and microsclerosis.
Dr. Bernier, after performing the ultrasound examination, will suggest the most suitable treatment for you. Both the endovenous laser and the ultrasound procedures are complementary treatments for varicose veins. They are less invasive alternatives to stripping and promise better results in the short and medium-term.