Laser Therapy for Varicose Veins: Pros and Cons
Published January 11, 2023
Vein problems are by no means a rare health issue. After all, many health conditions can trigger this type of problem. A few examples include inactivity, injury, and excessive weight.
Not to mention you become more susceptible to this health issue as you age. As such, it makes sense that everyone has experienced a vein problem at least once. In fact, you’re most likely someone who’s currently suffering from a vein problem, specifically, varicose veins.
If so, you’re probably aware that laser therapy is one of the treatment options for this issue.
What Is Laser Therapy for Varicose Veins?
Laser therapy is a treatment method that uses extremely thin and highly focused beams of light.
The beam of light forms a car tissue on the vein, which then closes the vein. In that process, the vein loses its source of blood. As a result, the varicose vein will slowly die and disappear.
There are a few types of laser therapy, some of which are more intensive than others.
Simple laser treatment, for example, will only affect the outermost layer or the skin’s surface. On the other hand, more severe treatments like endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) will affect deeper layers of the skin. EVLT is often the laser treatment option for varicose veins.
Laser Therapy for Varicose Veins: Pros
If you’ve been looking up treatments for varicose veins, you may have stumbled upon other options like surgery, radiofrequency ablation, and sclerotherapy. Though they are effective treatments, laser therapy has a few benefits that set it apart from other treatment options.
Below are some examples of these benefits or pros:
1. Laser Therapy Is Minimally-Invasive
Laser therapy is a minimally-invasive procedure. That means it’s a procedure that causes the least amount of damage to the body, which makes sense since it doesn’t involve dismembering, unlike surgery. This holds true to even the intensive forms of laser therapy, such as EVLT.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean the procedure has no side effects whatsoever. In fact, experts advise individuals taking laser therapy to prepare for the following side effects:
- Blood clots
- Changes in skin color
- Pain around the affected area
The good news is most of these side effects are temporary.
To put it into perspective, it takes only around a week to completely recover from the laser therapy session. Meanwhile, scars from surgical procedures will likely take months to fully heal.
Regardless, you’ll need to take plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activities during this period.
2. It Has a High Success Chance
Laser therapy has a relatively high success rate. That means when patients enter the clinic, they will almost always leave with the varicose veins gone. And while it’s only ethical to say success isn’t completely guaranteed, it might as well be with its 95% to 100% success rate.
3. Laser for Varicose Veins Has a Low Recurrence Rate
Recurrence rate in medical terms refers to the likelihood of the condition appearing again when the procedure was a success. Interestingly, laser treatment for varicose veins has a low recurrence rate.
This study, for instance, shows a 0% recurrence rate, meaning none of the participants had varicose veins again after the treatment. But, of course, the results of this study are not an accurate representation of the recurrence rate of laser therapy. In reality, it’s around 20%.
Nevertheless, the 0% to 20% recurrence rate is still incredibly low.
4. It Doesn’t Scar As Much
Surgery is known to leave scars on the affected area. That’s one of the main turn-offs for many people, which is also perhaps why laser therapy, a procedure known to cause minimal scarring, is quite popular. The most visible damage it may incur is very shallow holes and small scars.
5. Laser Therapy Is Cost-effective
Each session of laser for varicose veins will cost around $200 to $300, and you would usually have to take two to three sessions. So, you’re looking at a total cost of $400 to $900.
While it may seem expensive, it’s actually cheaper than other treatment options.
Surgery, for instance, has roughly the same cost per session, but it’ll take two to four sessions to fully get rid of the varicose veins. The same applies to sclerotherapy. And as for radiofrequency ablation, while a single session may treat the problem, it costs around $1,000 a session.
Laser Therapy for Varicose Veins: Cons
Like most procedures, laser therapy also poses a few disadvantages. Let’s look at each one:
1. It’s Not Suitable for All Patients
Though it should be suitable for most patients, there will be individuals with relatively severe varicose veins cases. And in most of those cases, other treatment options, particularly those that are more invasive, like surgery, would be a more suitable option for the patient.
2. Your Insurance May Not Cover Laser Therapy
Insurance companies cover procedures that are medically necessary.
They do not cover procedures that are purely cosmetic. Though laser therapy for varicose veins is medically necessary, some companies may not think of this procedure in the same way.
That’s particularly true if your varicose veins are incredibly small. In this case, the insurance company will try to make the argument that the procedure is cosmetic when in reality, it’s not.
Consult Your Doctor
With this, you’ve probably convinced yourself to go through with your decision. But as always, make sure you consult your doctor before you undergo the procedure. Moreover, you must choose a qualified vascular surgeon if you want to minimize the likelihood of complications.
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About The Author
Lenard Arceo is a professional blogger who is deeply passionate about health and beauty trends. Over the years, he has written articles on a myriad of topics that have helped millions of people.