Varicose veins may begin appearing in your legs or become more prevalent as you get older. Varicose veins are relatively common, with approximately 35 percent of Americans experiencing this condition. Fortunately, some treatments can effectively eliminate varicose veins and alleviate accompanying symptoms.
Centers like Northern Illinois Vein Clinic help patients reclaim their bodies, find relief and rebuild their confidence with advanced techniques like endovenous laser ablation (EVLA).
Varicose Vein Causes and Symptoms
What exactly are varicose veins and why do they appear so prominent compared to normal veins? Varicose veins are generally caused by leaking valves, which in turn, allows blood to pool, enlarging the vein, and making it appear darker beneath the skin.
While anyone can experience varicose veins, they are more likely to occur in the following groups:
- People struggling with obesity
- Individuals with a genetic tendency toward the condition
- Women; particularly those who have given birth to more than one child
Many people may consider varicose veins to be a primarily cosmetic issue; however, individuals with the condition can experience a host of symptoms, including:
- Fatigue/leg heaviness
- Skin ulcers or irritation
- Throbbing or aching pain
- Vein inflammation
These symptoms can interfere with one’s daily activities, with the potential to worsen if left untreated. Compression socks can help in milder cases; however, more direct intervention may be needed if symptoms persist.
Endovenous Laser Ablation Process
EVLA can be remarkably effective at eliminating varicose veins. The procedure is minimally invasive and is performed by an interventional radiologist.
The physician will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the area, sanitize the incision site, then make the incision. This small cut allows the laser fiber used in EVLA to enter the vein through a catheter. Ultrasound is applied during the process to provide the interventional radiologist with a map of the vein to help determine where the laser should be applied.
The laser fiber uses heat to close the vein, which prevents blood flow. A bandage is applied once the procedure is finished. To ensure proper healing, your doctor may give you further instructions, such as the following:
- Avoid strenuous activity
- Avoid long periods of sitting, such as traveling
- Wear compression socks
The entire process takes from 20 minutes to an hour and is usually done as an out-patient procedure.
Laser Vein Removal Results
After EVLA, veins should gradually shrink and disappear over time. Other treatments often result in the return of varicose veins; however, endovenous laser ablation is a long-term solution with studies showing no returning veins even 12 months after the procedure. Patients have also experienced the following benefits after the procedure:
- No hospitalization
- Short recovery time
- Little to no scarring
- Relief from symptoms
The procedure is very safe, with rare complications. Patients often experience no pain beyond the initial injection of anesthesia and can return to their normal activities the very next day.
EVLA works on all skin types and can be successful in treating deeper veins. Many insurance plans consider varicose veins to be a medical concern, covering the procedure’s expenses. With higher success rates than traditional surgery, endovenous laser ablation can be a prime solution for anyone struggling with this condition.
Contact Northern Illinois Vein Clinic
Northern Illinois Vein Clinic offers many state-of-the-art treatments to address vein disorders, including EVLA. Dr. Rimas Gilvydis, our interventional radiologist, certified by the American College of Phlebologists, has been practicing for more than ten years. The staff at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic are caring and knowledgeable, ensuring that you are always in good hands. Learn more by calling us at 779-696-8346 or make an appointment online today.