Phlebologist Questions Varicose Veins

Is laser treatment for varicose veins safe?

I have varicose veins on my calves and I would really like to get rid of them. I'm debating on getting laser treatment for them because I heard it works well--but I'm just not sure if this is a safe treatment. Do you recommend it?

4 Answers

Laser is safe, but causes more bruising than radio frequency ablation.
Laser treatment of varicose veins uses light energy to cause spasm of small blood vessels. Laser light will generally cause your skin to lighten in the treatment areas. Laser therapy may work for the smallest of varicose veins. But for larger veins, the veins disappear for a few days, and usually return. I recommend seeing a vascular surgeon who for an opinion.
Great question. There is a lot of confusion regarding laser treatments for varicose veins. For the most part, topical (surface) laser treatments only work for the tiniest of spider veins on the legs or face that are too small for sclerotherapy injections. EndoVenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat sapheous vein insufficiency (or reflux). Venous insufficiency is a more serious vein disorder that often underlies visible varicose veins, leg swelling, restless leg syndrome, skin color changes to the lower legs, and ultimately skin breakdown and venous stasis ulcers. Venous insufficiency is diagnosed with ultrasound examination. The EVLA procedure involves carefully inserting the laser fiber into the diseased saphenous vein under ultrasound guidance to essentially "weld" the vein shut with the laser energy. EVLA is typically performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation and is a very safe, outpatient procedure performed in the office setting. Micro-phlebectomy procedures are then performed to gently remove the remaining visible varicose veins. A
formal consultation with a varicose vein specialist with allow your doctor to recommend the optimal treatment plan for your varicose vein disease.

Filiberto Rodriguez. MD, FACS, FAACS, RVT, RPVI
You need to have a detailed ultrasound to investigate your venous drainage first and only then can an appropriate treatment plan be determined for you.
The ultrasound scan is typically approved by your insurance and is necessary to plan proper treatment to have good long term results.