Treating swollen, achingvaricose veinsused to require a painful surgical procedure called “vein stripping”. This was performed in a hospital setting and involved general or spinal anesthesia. The surgeon would make surgical cuts and remove the bulging vein using a thin wire. Sutures were required to close the cuts. As with any general surgery, there was the possibility of anesthesia risks. There was also a chance of infections, blood clots and scarring.
While vein stripping is still performed by many doctors, today there is another option for those seeking treatment for painful, bulging leg veins. They can opt for a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that is faster, more affordable and requires no downtime. The treatment called Endovenous Laser Ablation takes about an hour and is performed in our office. A laser fiber is inserted into the diseased vein which delivers energy in short pulses causing the vein to collapse and close. The vein simply becomes fibrous tissue after treatment and over time will gradually incorporate into the surrounding tissue.
Endovenous Laser Ablation is far advanced over the vein stripping procedures you may remember your mother experiencing and the scars that were left behind. The procedure is relatively painless, requires only minimal post-operative care and leaves no scarring. Patients can return to most normal routines and activities right away. The other good news is that the treatment is normally covered by most insurance carriers.