If you thought varicose veins affected only the little old ladies who lived a long life – most of which you believe they spent standing up – think again. Some 25 percent to 40 percent of women are plagued with this unsightly problem. Some men don’t get to escape it either. About 10 to 15 percent of all men acquire it in their lifetime.
For the most part, this condition poses no medical danger. Certain symptoms which may indicate the onset of future problems, though, may prompt an eventual need for treatment. Pain in the legs, a heavy feeling, a general tired feeling all indicate that treatment for varicose veins may be necessary. If your legs have sores which don’t heal or areas in which the skin color of your ankle has changed, you should also visit your physician.
Usually conservative management techniques – such as wearing support hose and avoiding standing for long periods of time – take care of these symptoms nicely. But when they don’t, many doctors are now recommending laser surgery.
Laser treatment for varicose veins involves the insertion of a small laser fiber through the skin and into the vein. This laser then heats the area which causes the vein to shrink. The laser only affects the blood and the blood vessel itself. The heat actually kills the cells which are lining the vein. It also effective seals the vein closed.
Laser surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Prior to the process, your skin is numbed with a local anesthetic – similar to what a dentist uses before he pulls a tooth. In this way, you’ll feel no pain.
The whole procedure usually lasts no longer than an hour, many times less than a half hour. Recovery time following the process is also remarkably short. Most individuals return to work the following day.
The laser treatment appeals to many because no needles or incisions are involved. For some people, multiple sessions may be necessary to treat all the veins.
The cost for one session – depending on where you live and your individual provider is approximately $300 to $450.
The process, though, is not without some possible side affects. Some individuals complain that laser treatment caused a redness or even a swelling in the skin afterwards. The swelling is usually temporary and disappears within several days.
Others notice tht the skin affected by the treatment is discolored. But this too disappears. It takes a little longer though. The discoloration will be noticeable for at least a month, maybe two.
In some very rare instances, patients have complained of burns and even scars. This is due to procedures that have been performed poorly. Performed properly, laser treatment leaves no scars and causes no burns.
Which brings us to this word of caution. If you’re interested in laser treatment, be sure to do your research. While the relieving of this unsightly – and sometimes painful – condition is now relatively easy, you still need to find a professional. Start with asking your doctor about the procedure — and then seek out the best qualified professional you can.