What is endolaser?
Endolaser, or endovenous laser treatment, is a minimally invasive technique for varicose veins. The treatment can be performed under a local anaesthetic, without the need for sedation.
Varicose veins can form anywhere but are most common in the legs as the blood is pumped against the force of gravity. Veins contain two valves which allow blood to flow one way but prevent it flowing backwards. These valves can become faulty and fail to close properly causing blood to flow backwards and the vein to become enlarged.
Why would you do it?
Endolaser treatment can remove varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged veins that often appear as bulges under the skin. Many people feel that varicose veins are unsightly and wish to get them removed for aesthetic reasons. In some cases, varicose veins can cause significant discomfort and so it is desirable that they are removed for this reason.
What does it involve?
Endolaser treatment involves shining a laser onto the veins. The heat from the laser damages the vein, causing it to close and eventually disappear. The procedure is minimally invasive and is an alternative to surgical treatments like vein stripping.
The treatment involves inserting an optical fibre into the vein to direct the laser into the vein. Once the vein is damaged and forms scar tissue, it will eventually die and disappear. The laser is moved along the vein in order to close the entire length. An ultrasound scan is used to guide the laser.
The procedure is done using a local anaesthetic with the patient awake. Endolaser treatment can be done in under an hour in most cases.
How to prepare for it
In preparation for endolaser treatment a doctor will assess each individual case and discuss the risks. Although relatively safe, possible complications include skin burns, skin colour changes, nerve damage and vein thrombosis.
Some discomfort is to be expected after the treatment, and patients are usually required to wear a compression stocking for a week after the procedure, however will be able to resume normal activities very quickly.