ENDOVASCULAR LASER TREATMENTS
Endovascular Laser Treatment is an advanced and new technique primarily designed for treating varicose veins without the need for a surgical procedure. The conventional way of treating varicose veins is by removing the abnormal veins.
In an Endovascular Laser Treatment, the walls of the abnormal veins are heated by the laser beam which kills the abnormal tissues which are then absorbed by the body and the abnormal veins get destroyed. It is an outpatient procedure and does not require any inpatient stay. There are no prerequisites or requirements for an individual with varicose veins to get treated with laser treatments.
How is an Endovascular Laser Treatment Done?
The Endovascular Laser Treatment is performed under ultrasound guidance. The area in question is first identified and marked. The patient is then made to lie down on a table or a couch and the affected leg is prepped and draped in the usual sterile manner. The patient may be placed in a prone or supine position depending on the veins that need to be treated. Following this, the area of the varicose veins is injected with local anesthesia.
Once the anesthetic effect is confirmed, a needle is inserted into the vein through which a wire is passed. Then a catheter is passed through this wire through which a laser fiber is passed. Once done, local anesthetic is then injected around the vein. The laser beam is then passed through the instrument inserted through the catheter for approximately 5 minutes. Once done, the catheter and the laser instrument are removed and a small dressing is placed over the area treated.
It takes about half an hour for the whole process of laser treatment to complete. Post treatment, the patient is allowed to walk but physicians recommend avoiding driving immediately after the procedure. So it is best to either have a friend or family drive the patient home or use a public transport system.
What are the Complications of Endovascular Laser Treatments?
As inherent with any procedure, there are certain risks that may present during or after an Endovascular Laser Treatment even though serious complications are extremely rare. Some people may develop Thrombophlebitis as a result of Endovascular Laser Treatment. This is because the heat of the laser may cause inflammation of the walls of the surrounding veins.
Nerve damage is something that is a common complication for literally all procedures. During Endovascular Laser Treatment, the nerves around the affected veins also get damaged due to the heat of the laser beam. It is a benign complication and typically resolves within a couple of months. DVT is yet another complication that is inherent with Endovascular Laser Treatment.
DVT if not treated may break away and affect the lungs causing a potentially serious condition called pulmonary embolism. This is a very rare complication of Endovascular Laser Treatment but nevertheless the risk is there. Therefore, it is recommended that patients should speak with their physician and weigh their risk-benefit ratio before consenting for Endovascular Laser Treatment.