All about laser treatments for varicose veins in the lower extremities
Varicose veins in the legs are a condition that affects approximately 40% of women and 20% of men, regardless of age. Treatment of veins affected by varicose veins involves a range of different approaches and techniques, including surgical interventions of varying complexity.
Treatment of varicose veins with laser has been widely used in modern vascular surgery. This is not surprising since the classic surgical treatment - phlebectomy (removal of all or part of the leg veins) - is a rather painful, highly traumatic and risky procedure followed by a long and difficult recovery period.
Furthermore, following classic surgery to remove leg veins (in whole or in part), there is a risk of wound infection, which is also a significant disadvantage of this type of intervention.
Laser treatment of varicose veins involves the fact that diseased blood vessels receive a dose of a laser beam from the inside, stick together and are removed or dissolved from the body's circulatory system.
Therefore, intravenous laser coagulation has distinct advantages in the form of:
- This process is performed in a short time.
- There is little risk of infection.
- Relatively safe.
- There is no recovery period after surgery.
Therefore, many patients prefer laser treatment of leg varicose veins as the fastest, least invasive and cost-effective method of anti-varicose vein treatment.
How to diagnose varicose veins
Before recommending one or another type of surgical intervention to a patient to remove leg veins, the treating physician: a therapist or phlebologist, prescribes a set of measures to diagnose the nature and extent of varicose veins in the lower extremities.
As far as the therapist is concerned, these are likely to be referrals to the KLA and OAM, and the phlebologist may prescribe any of the following research activities:
- Duplex ultrasound scan. Allows you to establish the dynamics of venous circulation and the state of the calf venous wall. With the help of ultrasound, doctors can detect the degree of blood movement through the veins, the magnitude of the blood flow, and those blood vessels that require laser surgery.
- Magnetic resonance venography study. Using this method, doctors ruled out the presence of thrombosis. Such a study is carried out as follows: a special contrast medium is introduced into the veins, and under the influence of the magnetic force, you can accurately determine the pattern of the blood vessels.
Laser coagulation of varicose veins can be recommended in almost all patients, regardless of age and gender, if the following symptoms of leg varicose veins are detected:
- Pain, burning, and fullness at the location of blood vessels in the legs.
- Deformation of veins.
- Superficial phlebitis.
- CVI (chronic venous insufficiency).
- A network of capillaries on the surface of the skin.
In addition, the following conditions are important determinants of the appointment of a phlebologist for this type of surgical intervention, such as laser coagulation of varicose veins:
Laser treatment is performed only on veins that lie just below the skin itself. It can be both large and small veins, only the location near the surface of the skin is important.
If the dilated vein does not exceed 10 mm in diameter, laser removal of the vein is recommended. If the vessel is deformed by more than 1 cm due to varicose veins in the lower extremities, there is a good chance of further "desoldering" and restoring venous blood flow.
The veins that can be treated with the laser should be relatively straight and not curved, and the adjacent blood vessels should not have severe varicose deformities, otherwise the laser surgery may not be effective.
Treatment of varicose veins with a laser allows exposure to only a limited area of the diseased blood vessel. Treatment of "long runs" with lasers may not be effective, which may cause the diseased vein to degummed and restore blood flow within it.
Counter-Recommendations for Laser Ablation
Therefore, laser treatment of varicose veins is not recommended if the deep veins are affected by the disease and the venous lumen is dilated by more than 10 mm, and if the varicose veins affect a large area of the venous vessel.
In what other situations are lasers contraindicated to remove varicose veins?
- First, these have formed a thrombus in the diseased vein.
- Second, it's a strong break in the container structure.
- Third, these are severe lymphatic and blood flow dysfunction, varicose veins in the legs.
In addition, there are many contraindications to laser vein therapy surgery, which are mostly temporary and removable. These include:
- Skin damage and inflammation, including trophic ulcers, especially at the site of diseased blood vessels. In the presence of an inflammatory process, the risk of post-operative infection increases, so you must first undergo a course of treatment before surgery.
- Pregnancy and lactation. The fact is that during this period, the body's immune system does not function fully, on the contrary, the load on the calf area increases significantly.
- Obese, overweight. In addition to the difficult access to the diseased vessel, in this case the load on the lower leg of the leg is again increased, which can significantly complicate the post-operative recovery process.
Types of Laser Treated Blood Vessels
- Intravascular laser coagulation, when the walls of the veins are glued together by the action of a laser beam inside the veins of the blood vessels, the space in between will gradually be filled with connective tissue.
- Blood vessels are removed by laser coagulation to remove spider veins on the surface of the skin without penetrating the vessels themselves. This intervention involves heating small (up to 3 mm in diameter) blood vessels with a laser beam at a temperature of approximately 70 degrees, resulting in the disintegration of the vessel wall and the removal of the capillary network.
Method of performing surgery
Treatment of varicose veins in the legs with a laser is performed on an outpatient basis. Since the location of the venous vessels to be resected is usually small and the entire intervention is performed intravenously, the procedure does not need to be performed under general anesthesia, and the patient receives only local anesthesia.
To remove the increased tension before surgery, the patient is usually advised to take a mild sedative medication, and in this case, it is best to have one of his relatives accompany him from the hospital to his home.
Intravenous laser coagulation itself is performed as follows.
A microincision is made at the location of the affected blood vessel, and a light guide is inserted. With this medical device, laser beams of various frequencies enter blood vessels at wavelengths recommended by doctors.
Once the laser radiation begins to flow, occlusion of the vein by the laser occurs, and blood is gradually squeezed out of the vessel.
Due to the emptying of the intravascular space, the vessel walls are brought closer to each other, and subsequently they are almost completely adherent and overgrown with connective tissue.
Laser removal of leg veins usually lasts 20 to 40 minutes.
After laser ablation of the venous lesion, venous blood distribution occurs in the deeper venous vessels located in the thickness of the muscle and is not easily distinguishable on inspection and palpation. In addition, after laser coagulation, the skin surface is almost free of wounds, scars and cyanosis.
No rehabilitation is required, and patients can get up and go home almost immediately after interventions including post-operative treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs, bed rest, and laser therapy.
However, after remaining in the supine position for an extended period of time during surgery to remove leg veins, the patient is advised to slow down the process of getting up from the operating chair slightly.
That said, you first need to take a seated position and spend some time in it so that the venous blood flow returns to normal.
Only then can you get up and go to the exit. Patients usually experience no pain and may only experience a slight tingling where the blood vessel was removed. Therefore, no painkillers are needed either!
An important point after surgery is the need to wear therapeutic compression bras frequently: golf balls, tights, stockings, and the level of compression recommended by the attending physician.
As a rule, this underwear should be worn for a long time, up to 50-60 consecutive days, and it is forbidden to take it off even at night for the first two days.
Due to the compressive effect, this underwear will ensure an even distribution of blood flow in the blood vessels of the legs, thus eliminating swelling and other unpleasant symptoms of varicose veins.
As the veins during surgery fill with connective tissue and blood flows to deeper, healthier vessels, the need for underwear will fade away.
Patients undergoing laser surgery generally do not receive sick leave if work activities are not related to persistent tension in the calf area, prolonged standing, or weight lifting.
Without these moments, the patient can return to the workplace the next day.
And immediately after the operation, it is recommended to take a leisurely walk on a flat road for 20-30 minutes after wearing elastic underwear.
Different people have their own opinions on surgery, please watch the video of the girl talking about the procedure.
Treatment of varicose veins with lasers is the most preferred, modern and painless intervention available to almost all patients.
However, in addition to the surgeon, the patient should also help themselves get rid of the varicose veins.
So, you should incorporate into your daily routine a treatment exercise recommended for varicose vein patients, quit drinking and smoking, and avoid salty, spicy, and smoked foods.
Baths and saunas should also be banned, especially for the first time after surgery.
Furthermore, if the occupational activity is associated with frequent standing or vice versa, prolonged proximity to the computer, regular interruptions for relaxing breaks or short walks are necessary.
Pay attention to the condition of your legs and do not start developing varicose veins! Remember - our health is in our hands!