There are minimally and non-invasive options for vein treatment in the US. Breakthroughs and advancements in medical technology has given vein doctors and surgeons abilities they have never before had. When veins become unhealthy, they can fail to do their job, grow in size, damage other blood vessels, and develop an unsightly appearance. Laser vein removal is an option that will treat this problem without causing undue pain, surgery, or downtime.
In this guide, we will go over some of the issues that call for laser vein treatments (also called Sclerotherapy) as well as the techniques and procedures used to treat them non-invasively.
Laser Vein Removal vs. Sclerotherapy
Laser vein removal is one of several treatment options for varicose and spider veins.
Vein stripping and hospital stays are outdated. Laser vein removal today involves minimally invasive technology performed by a professional phlebologist (vein doctor). There is no longer any hospital stay or outpatient admission required for vein removal procedures. You will experience results little to no scarring or recovery period requiring you to be bedridden.
Here are a few of the vein treatments we commonly perform at Chicago Vein Institute using a laser:
Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment (EVLA)
Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment (EVLA) is a treatment used to close diseased veins in the legs. These are usually the same superficial veins that, if left untreated, become varicose veins. Treatment can be performed either with a laser or with radiofrequency technology.
EVLA is used for any skin type or color. It is an effective way to address any underlying causes of varicose and spider veins. In the procedure, a laser catheter goes into the vein through a tiny incision. The heated laser catheter seals off the vein as the catheter exits. Blood flow is cut off from the closed vein and the body reroutes the blood to healthy veins, thus improving circulation. The closed vein goes away as the body gradually reabsorbs it.
Most of the qualified vein centers in your area should offer this service. If not, you can always get in touch with Chicago Vein Institute if you are in our around the Downtown Chicago area.
When to choose Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT):
- A patient does not like needles.
- Spider veins too small for injection therapy.
- The area being treated is a large mass made up of tiny blood vessels.
- Sclerotherapy is not an option for the patient because of chemicals in the solution.
Sclerotherapy is a vein procedure involving injections into spider or varicose veins, causing them to collapse and naturally disappear from view as the body reabsorbs them. The name “sclerotherapy” comes from the name of the solution, a “sclerosant,” that is used in the treatment.
When solution is injected, it causes scarring in the veins, rendering them useless for the passage of blood. The scarring will cause blood to be rerouted to healthier vein systems. Once this happens, the treated veins begin to disappear from view.
When to choose sclerotherapy:
- When you have a darker skin tone. Lasers can sometimes result in discoloration for patients with darker skin. Especially lasers emitting light wavelengths.
- When treating superficial spider veins. Sclerotherapy is often more effective as well as faster and less expensive for smaller veins close to the skin’s surface. Sclerotherapy is preferred for spider veins rather than varicose veins.
The Three Types of Problem Veins
There are three main groups of problem veins that are treated by these procedures:
- Varicose veins are enlarged purple or dark blue blood vessels that look like misshapen ropes and generally appear on the calves, the ankles, and inside of the legs. Varicose veins produce symptoms such as pain, cramping, heaviness, burning, swelling, throbbing, fatigue, and restlessness.
- Spider veins are thin blood vessels visible just below the skin. Most often they appear on the face, feet, and thighs and may look like a series of tree branches, lines, or web-like shapes. Spider veins can produce a burning or throbbing pain and can develop into varicose veins and other vein-related problems.
- Reticular veins are smaller in diameter than varicose veins and appear as dilated, dark blue or purple blood vessels. They can produce symptoms such as burning, aching, and itching.
When Veins Go Untreated
Varicose and spider veins can cause increasing pain when standing or walking, swelling in your feet and ankles, and sores on or near the veins. Varicose veins are a progressive disease. Without serious attention and treatment, varicose and spider veins can cause blood clots, phlebitis, venous stasis ulcers, skin discoloration, lipodermatosclerosis, and atrophy blanch.
Seeking help for vein issues in Chicago
Chicago Vein Institute (CVI) is a medical practice that specializes in vein treatments from the simplest to the most complex. Our highly trained CVI staff performs the newest and most effective treatments for painful varicose veins, spider veins, and other vein-related disorders. We can conduct an ultrasound test to evaluate your condition.