Laser Treatment

Thanks to advancements in medical laser therapy, the pain and lengthy recovery of surgical “vein stripping” procedures are no longer necessary. Varicose veins can now be treated under local anesthesia with immediate results. If you have been living with the pain and self-consciousness of varicose veins, this new procedure may be right for you.

What are varicose veins?

More than 25 million Americans—45% of women and 25% of men—suffer from varicose veins. Veins allow blood from leg muscles to return to the heart and lungs. Valves in the veins prevent the backflow of blood that can lead to swelling of the veins and legs while standing. When the valves leak and the veins enlarge, they are called “Varicose.” Pain and self-consciousness can be just the beginning of serious problems. Varicose veins can lead to serious medical conditions such as cellulitis and even ulceration with tissue loss.

How is laser therapy different from surgery?

Laser therapy is much less invasive than traditional surgical procedures and can be performed on an outpatient basis. It is performed with local anesthesia, avoiding the risks of general anesthesia. Only a small incision is necessary—no stitches or scars. Recovery time is markedly reduced; you will be on your feet the same day. Without large incisions, the risk of infection is extremely low. Only mild discomfort is expected, which can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers.

What is the procedure like?

The procedure takes about 45 minutes. Under local anesthesia, the leg is prepared with a sterile scrub. Using ultrasound to visualize the enlarged vein, a catheter is inserted through the skin and positioned within the abnormal vein. A laser fiber is then inserted through the catheter and light is applied to the unhealthy vein, causing it to scar and close. Normal blood flow is then naturally diverted to the healthy remaining veins. The procedure is not painful.

Does laser treatment work?

There is a 97% success rate, so it is proven to be effective. Follow-up procedures can be considered to obtain optimal aesthetic results.

Non-Surgical Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins

Is laser treatment safe?

Laser therapies are used throughout medicine and have proven their safety in many settings. They allow for precise treatment and offer far fewer complications than traditional surgery. The procedure is performed by board-certified
interventional radiologists who specialize in image-guided therapies.

Will the affects of laser treatment last?

With a 97% success rate, recurrence is very uncommon. Routine follow-up is required and can be at a time convenient to you.

Will my insurance cover laser treatment for varicose veins?

While most insurers cover the procedure, there may be some pre-requisites. We will work with you and your insurance company to determine coverage.

How do I find out more?

Call the Interventional Radiology Clinic at Memorial Medical Center: 217–788–3200 or visit Clinical Radiologists online at