Varicose veins are larger blood vessels that have become swollen and twisted. They appear dark blue and stick out from the skin like a mini Lincoln Tunnel under your skin. While they can develop anywhere on the body, varicose veins usually form on the legs and ankles.
How do varicose veins form?
Healthy veins carry blood to the heart through a series of one-way valves. These valves allow blood to flow in the right direction from superficial veins to deeper veins and to the heart. When veins are healthy, they have a one-way valve to prevent backflow. But defective valves allow blood to flow backward and pool inside the vein. As this blood pools in the vein, the pressure builds and the vessel wall weakens. When this happens the vein bulges and twists. If there isn’t much swelling, it is called a spider vein. With swelling it becomes a varicose vein.
Endovenous laser therapy at Diamond
Endovenous laser therapy (ELVT) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose veins. It is an alternative to the painful, lengthy ligation and stripping procedures of the past. Ligation and vein stripping are considered invasive surgical procedures, requiring general anesthesia and up to two weeks of recovery time. In contrast, ELTV takes less than an hour and has no downtime.
How ELVT works
In an ELVT procedure, Dr. Yates identifies the damaged vein and delivers a small amount of local anesthesia to the area. A laser probe is inserted through a needle into the vein. Using ultrasound imaging, Dr. Yates maneuvers the probe to correctly position the laser. Laser energy is then fired inside the vein, down the vein wall. This laser energy damages the vein wall, causing it to close off. The body then diverts the blood from this vein to nearby normal, functional veins, often increasing circulation to the area. The vein that has been damaged becomes scar tissue and eventually fades away completely.
Patients experience some mild bruising and a feeling of tightness in the legs, but these symptoms subside in a few days at most. Otherwise, patients can return to their normal activities except for exercise or heavy lifting.
If you have varicose veins, let’s get rid of them with endovenous laser therapy at Diamond Medical Spa & Vein. Call for an appointment, 563-275-4701.