Best Hospital for Vascular Disease Treatment in Chennai

Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins in Chennai

As many of you might remember, veins carry blood from all parts of the body to the heart. Veins (and also arteries) allow blood to flow only in one direction. This is possible due to the valves present in them that allow the one-directional flow of blood through them. When the valves are damaged in any part of the vein, the blood gets blocked and the vein bulges resulting in a varicose vein. Due to the excessive accumulation of blood in the vein, the color of the vein may turn purple or dark red. Bulged veins show up on the skin, some look very light and thin and some are really large as if there are some worms under the skin. The twisted, enlarged, and often painful veins filled with blood are called varicose veins.

Varicose veins did have treatment even a decade ago. The surgeon used to make incisions on the legs or any part of the body where the varicose veins were present and pull out the vein(s). This procedure was often painful and took longer to heal. With the advancement in medical science and technology, varicose veins treatment has become less painful, less invasive with minimal blood loss, and heals faster.

Types of non-invasive treatments for varicose veins

Following are the non-invasive varicocele treatment options available currently (in our Chennai clinic):

  • Sclerotherapy. In this procedure, the veins are destroyed by injecting a liquid into the damaged vein. The liquid called ‘Sclerosant solution’ is made of Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate. The liquid when injected into the vein causes it to collapse. The blood then flows through other veins instead of flowing and getting filled up in the damaged vein. The vein will be eventually absorbed the body. Sclerotherapy is used to treat small varicose veins that are near the surface of the skin. (Such veins are also called ‘Spider Veins’).

In cases where the veins are large, the liquid is turned into foam and injected as the foam usually occupies more volume than the liquid itself.

  • – Radiofrequency Ablation

In this procedure, the scarring or destroying of the defective veins is done with the energy released from the radiofrequency waves. Small incisions are made at the ends of the varicose veins and a small catheter is inserted into the veins. The end of the catheter emits radio waves that numb and destroy the vein by heating it and thickening it. The destroyed vein will eventually get absorbed into the body and will not be visible on the skin anymore.

  • – Endovenous Laser Ablation (Laser treatment for varicose veins)

In the laser treatment procedures for treating varicose veins, the energy to destroy the veins is given by the laser beam that is emitted at the end of the laser fiber catheter. Similar to radiofrequency ablation, small incisions are made at the beginning of varicose veins and the fiber catheter is inserted. As the catheter is moved, the laser beam destroys the walls of the damaged vein. Eventually, the vein will collapse and get absorbed by the body. Laser treatment for varicose veins is preferred when the veins are deeper in the leg or any affected area.

When is laser or other non-invasive treatment preferred for varicose veins?

There are few things to try by yourself when you see bulged veins on your body such as working out, dropping your weight (if you are overweight or obese), elevating your legs when sitting, wearing compression socks or stockings. If none of such home remedies for varicose veins give relief, you need to consult a good vascular surgeon for treating your varicose veins.

Your doctor/surgeon may recommend non-invasive surgery for varicose veins when:

  • – You are not happy with the look of your leg with swollen veins
  • – If you are experiencing pain and cramps
  • – If blood clots are forming frequently
  • – If your doctor sees that ulcers or sores are forming or have formed
  • – If the fatty tissue under the skin is hard or hardening due to the blood pressure from the vein

Risks of non-invasive varicose vein treatment

Every surgery comes with its own risks, some are very minor and some major. Risks associated with radiofrequency or laser treatment of varicose veins include:

  • – Blood clots
  • – Bruising
  • – Hematoma (a condition when the blood collects outside the blood vessels)
  • – Infection
  • – Skin burn
  • – Nerve injury or damage during the procedure.



How does laser treatment reduce the symptoms of varicose veins?

Veins carry blood from different parts of the body to the heart. Veins have valves inside them that restrict the flow of blood in only one direction. When these valves get damaged for any reason, the blood will not be able to flow to the heart and gets blocked there, causing enlargement of veins.

The condition of veins enlargement due to the blockage of blood is called varicose veins. The area may look purple in color due to the spreading of blood to nearby tissues. Enlargement of veins under the skin is also seen in most people.  The first line of treatment for varicose veins is to change the lifestyle habits that might be causing the problem and wearing tight stockings as advised by your doctor. If there is severe pain, skin problems, and blood clots in the body, your vascular surgeon may recommend surgery.

Factors that decide the type of treatment for varicose veins symptoms

  1. Your age and overall health.
  2. Your lifestyle including your workout routine, smoking and alcohol drinking habits.
  3. The location of varicose veins and the symptoms
  4. Whether you are getting a medical condition addressed or you want to just cover up the superficial varicose veins
  5. The expertise of your doctor in treating varicose veins – helps him/her determine the right procedure for you.

Treatment of varicose veins in few sentences

The aim of any treatment method of varicose veins is to block the vein that is damaged and reroute the blood through other veins. The damaged vein is either blocked somehow or it is removed. Now let’s look at various methods how this is achieved.

  1. Sclerotherapy: A solution is injected into the vein that has damaged valves. This scars the vein and blocks the flow of blood through it. As a result, blood finds alternative routes to reach the heart.  This is an out-patient (day care) procedure done at doctor’s office/clinic and doesn’t require any hospitalization. You will have to see your doctor multiple times with a gap of 4 to 6 weeks to complete the treatment sessions. Post that, you will be required to wear compression stockings for few weeks after each session.

Micro-sclerotherapy is the very same procedure with the only difference being, a smaller needle will be used to inject the solution to block the vein(s).

  • Laser therapy for treatment of varicose veins’ symptoms: Veins are closed with the energy from laser. Small bursts of laser light are focused on the damaged veins that will cause them to close.  The benefit of laser treatment for varicose veins is that, there is no pricking or cutting/incision involved in this treatment. Most often laser treatment is done for smaller varicose veins.
  • Endovenous Ablation Therapy: In this treatment method, you will first be given local anesthesia. A small incision will be made in a place through which a thin tube will be inserted into your body. The tube emits radio waves or laser (energy of some kind) that will close the vein. Later the area will be wrapped in bandage and then you will be allowed to go home after a couple of hours.
  • Endoscopic Vein Surgery: A small incision is made through which a thin tube with camera at it’s end is inserted into the vein. Once the end of the vein is reached, your doctor shuts it off (closes the vein). This procedure is typically done when there are skin ulcers caused due to varicose veins. Recovery takes about 10 to 14 days after which you will be able to return to your normal life activities.

Now, let’s look at some procedures in which the damaged vein is removed surgically.

  1. Ambulatory Phlebectomy:  This procedure is done when the vein is closer to the skin surface. Local anesthesia is given and after the area goes numb, a small incision/cut is made and the vein is removed. This is a day care / out-patient procedure, after which you will be able to go home.
  1. Vein Stripping and Ligation: This is a little more complex procedure done in serious cases. Full body anesthesia is given before the procedure. Incisions will be made on the skin, veins will be tied and removed. If possible, a vein called Saphenous vein (a long vein that exists from ankle to the groin) will be left in place just in case, if you may end up going for a heart bypass in the future.

This procedure may require hospitalization for a day or two after which you will be allowed to go home. Recovery time is typically 4 weeks.

Post operative expectations after varicocele vein treatment

Just like any surgery, bruising, inflammation may be seen in the area of surgery. Recovery will be normal unless if the veins are removed. Complications of the surgery include blood clots, pain, infection, and scarring at the surgical site.

You will need to follow your doctor’s advice including taking medication, wearing stockings or bandages for a couple of weeks. Once recovered, you will need to take care of yourself with a healthy lifestyle including regular workouts, eating healthy. With respect to legs, you will need to raise your feet while sitting, make sure you don’t cross your legs, or wear tight clothes that can affect the blood flow.

If you see any unusual complications (other than what your doctor has mentioned during discharge), you should contact your vascular surgeon immediately.