Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins, usually blue or dark purple in colour. They may also be lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance and mostly occur in the legs.
Inside our veins are tiny one-way valves that open to let the blood through and then close to prevent it flowing backwards. Sometimes, the walls of the veins can become stretched and lose their elasticity, causing the valves to weaken. If the valves do not function properly, this can cause the blood to leak and flow backwards. If this happens, the blood will collect in the veins, which will become swollen and enlarged.
Laser Treatment of Varicose Veins
The generic term for the laser treatment of varicose veins is Endovenous Laser Ablation or EVLA. Excel Lasers supplies a full range of procedure kits, laser systems, tumescent delivery and theatre packs to enable a vascular surgeon or interventional radiologist to perform the procedure effectively and efficiently. The procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to surgical stripping of the long saphenous vein, which is an important part of the most common operation for varicose veins. Under ultrasound guidance and local anaesthesia, a catheter is placed into the long saphenous vein. A laser fibre is passed through it and positioned below the saphenofemoral junction. An anaesthetic agent is then injected, and the fibre is slowly withdrawn while energy from a diode laser is applied. This is repeated along the entire length of the vein until the long saphenous vein is closed from the saphenofemoral junction to the point of access.
The treatment, which is performed without sedation, usually takes less than an hour, and the patient walks out afterwards unaided. The leg is bandaged and/or placed in a stocking that the patient wears for up to three weeks afterwards.
How it Works
The energy source from the laser irritates the vein walls, causes them to shrink and slowly disappear. Once this occurs, the veins can no longer carry blood through them. Because these veins are superficial, they are not necessary for the transfer of blood to the heart.