In the past, when conservative treatment of varicose veins did not give the desired result, or if the complications posed a serious risk to the patient's health, doctors prescribed surgery. In this case, the affected vein was completely removed, and scars remained on the skin after the operation. Modern medicine allows in some cases to replace outdated surgery with more advanced laser therapy.
The essence of the impact is that a laser beam of a certain wavelength is aimed at an enlarged vein. Blood cells convert the incoming impulse into heat energy, as a result of which the affected vessel seems to be sealed and the blood begins to circulate in deeper and healthier ways.
At the same time, all adjacent tissues remain harmless, because the laser beam moves selectively, and the area of the body where the manipulation is performed is not subsequently disturbed due to the disabled vein.
Laser surgery for varicose veins is divided into two types used in different situations. Percutaneous laser correction is often used to treat venous mesh, which can be called the early stage of varicose vein development. The procedure is performed without direct contact with the skin, and the result is no different from other types of procedures, but in this case the diameter of the vessel should not exceed 3 mm.
Endovasal laser coagulation (EVLK) is more commonly used, in Europe it has become a priority therapy, and surgical treatment of varicose veins is gradually taking a back seat. EVLK involves a microscopic skin incision in which a light guide is inserted into the damaged vessel. This feature allows you to freely "glue" any dilated vessel with a diameter not exceeding 1 cm. The whole process is under the control of ultrasound diagnostics, so the risk of medical error is minimal.
Negative reviews of laser coagulation of blood vessels are most often left by people who trust an inexperienced doctor or ignore the advice of a specialist.
Indications and contraindications
There are indications and contraindications to any procedure, which should be reported to the attending physician. In the case of treatment of varicose veins in the legs with laser coagulation, the specialist should carefully check the initial conditions for the procedure.
First, the vein should not be more than 10 mm in the mouth, otherwise the therapy will be useless and the problem will soon return.
Second, the vessel must have a smooth course of the body so that the light guide can pass freely from beginning to end.
Third, varicose veins should not be too much.
Before starting laser treatment, it is necessary to consider the existing contraindications to the procedure:
- prone to thrombophlebitis;
- any chronic diseases in the acute stage;
- circulatory pathology;
- dilation of vessels more than 1 cm;
- inflammatory processes in the affected area;
- infectious diseases accompanied by fever;
- low mobility of the patient for health reasons.
If you ignore the existing contraindications, there may be negative consequences that will be more difficult to eliminate. For the procedure to be successful, you only need to go to a specialized medical institution staffed by experienced and responsible professionals.
How is the procedure
At the initial consultation with a doctor, the patient answers all the necessary questions and undergoes an examination to determine whether laser treatment of varicose veins helps in this situation and whether it is necessary at all. Tests are then scheduled and, if no contraindications are found, the session date is announced.
There is no specific preparation for laser coagulation, but the patient should follow certain specialist recommendations:
- loose and comfortable clothes and shoes should be worn, especially in the last days before the due date;
- It is necessary to stop taking drugs that affect the viscosity of the blood a few days before the procedure.
In the first stage, the phlebologist, together with the ultrasound diagnostician, marks and records the location of the entire part of the affected vein from the varicose veins in the affected area of the patient's body. The length of this step can vary: if the vein is straight and short, the process will only take a few minutes, and if it is often twisted and drawn into a long section, the marking may take longer.
The second step is the use of a local anesthetic, most commonly used as Novocaine, if the patient is not allergic. Under the supervision of an ultrasound machine, the doctor carefully cuts the damaged vessel without damaging it. This stage is very important because it not only anesthetizes the procedure, but also prevents the effect of the laser beam on nearby tissues.
Laser removal of varicose veins begins with the phlebologist selecting the appropriate radiation regimen for the patient. A small incision is then made, if endovasal coagulation is performed, a light guide is brought into the vein, or the laser surface is exposed when the percutaneous method is chosen. With the help of an ultrasound machine, the phlebologist controls the process and moves the source of the laser beam along the entire length of the dilated vessel.
For two weeks after laser treatment of the vessels of the lower extremities and in the first days after the procedure, you should wear compression underwear not only during the day, but also at night. You should also take walks lasting at least 30 minutes for two weeks immediately after exposure.
Results of therapy
In most cases, varicose veins in the legs and other parts of the body are suitable for laser coagulation without side effects and relapses. At first, the patient may feel discomfort, pain, or other discomfort in the affected area, and bruising may also appear, but this gradually disappears. Otherwise, you will need the help of a doctor.
More serious complications can occur if the course of laser treatment of varicose veins in the legs and other parts of the body is disrupted, or if the patient ignores the advice of a specialist. The most harmless of these is the penetration of infection through an open wound treated with antibiotics. A more serious complication is the formation of superficial or deep vein thrombi, which can only be treated surgically.