Irrespective of the patient age and severity of the venous disorder, varicose veins must be treated in order to prevent other health complications that may arise due to excessive pooling of blood in the veins of the legs and the feet. Timely treatment of varicose veins will not only ensure that blood flows seamlessly in the desired direction but will also offer quick relief from all symptoms such as pain, itching, swelling, and discomfort.
While considering the numerous available treatment options for varicose veins, you are probable to have a tough time choosing one between Sclerotherapy and Laser Therapy. This is primarily because both these treatment forms are fairly popular and highly effective. These are known to have worked wonders for patients with varying degrees of symptoms of varicose veins.
If you are wondering which treatment process to opt for, you have come to the right place. In this blog today, we will explain Sclerotherapy and Endovenous Laser Treatment procedures in detail. We will also discuss their benefits to help you make an informed and confident decision about the treatment procedure for your varicose veins. Stay with us till the end to learn about the best way to get rid of varicose veins.
What is Sclerotherapy?
For many years before the discovery of laser treatment, sclerotherapy has been a popular choice and the go-to treatment for venous disorders such as varicose veins, especially spider veins.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment procedure where the sclerosant (in liquid or foam) is injected into the damaged veins. This causes scarring on the inner lining of the blood vessels and results in clotting that prevents blood to flow through these veins.
As a result, this kills the affected veins and the body utilizes other healthier veins to transfer blood back to the heart. In due course of time, these veins are reabsorbed in the body and eventually fade away.
To achieve the best results, the medical practitioner generally asks the patient to elevate the legs before the procedure. This step ensures that all blood drains out from the damaged veins. The patient is also advised to wear compression stockings for a few days after the treatment as that helps to apply the desired pressure and helps prevent blood from flowing into the treated vein until it dies away.
Although this procedure is usually completed in under 30 minutes, it generally takes a few weeks to a few months for the patients to see satisfactory results and witness relief from symptoms of varicose veins.
This treatment is recommended for varicose veins on the legs and the hands and can be used along with other treatment procedures. Although it is still a trusted procedure and an effective treatment choice for small-sized varicose veins, in few critical cases, depending upon the number and size of the damaged veins, the doctor may opt to use a thicker sclerosant and suggest the patient undergo a series of sclerotherapy sessions to treat all affected veins.
What are the benefits of Endovenous Laser Treatment?
The sclerotherapy procedure requires minimal preparation from the patient. You are advised to avoid shaving or applying any lotion on the legs a day before the treatment. Ensure to wear a pair of loose bottoms like pants or joggers and visit the doctor for the procedure.
It is a relatively safer procedure as compared to vein litigation or vein stripping surgical procedures. There are negligible chances of any severe side-effects. Mild discomfort, if any, lasts for no longer than 30 minutes. At times, a few patients may witness slight pain when the sclerosant is injected but this usually goes away in some time.
There may also be slight cramping accompanied by a burning sensation in the treated area for a few minutes. Rare complications include allergic reactions to the sclerosant chemical, air bubble, blood clot, and inflammation.
What is Endovenous Laser Treatment?
Endovenous laser treatment is a non-surgical procedure to treat venous insufficiency of the superficial veins which is the leading cause of varicose veins and related venous disorders in a large number of people.
This painless and minimally-invasive laser treatment has been the most trusted treatment procedure since the last decade. It is the most appropriate treatment for large varicose veins. Doctors can treat numerous varicose veins in a single session.
A thin laser fibre (less than 1mm in diameter) is inserted in the affected vein with the help of a catheter. An interventional radiologist uses a live duplex ultrasound scan to guide the laser fibre to the precise location. Laser energy is then emitted to heat the area and close off the affected vein.
This vein is no longer able to carry blood and the body thus redirects the blood flow to neighbouring healthier veins. This procedure causes no damage to the surrounding tissues or skin. The laser-treated vein gets reabsorbed in the body in due course of time.
It is a quick procedure and takes under 15 minutes. Usually performed as an outpatient procedure in the doctor’s clinic itself, the patient requires local anaesthesia only. There is no need for the patient to stay overnight at the clinic. He/she can go back home right after the treatment and resume normal activities.
What are the advantages of the Endovenous Laser Treatment Process?
The endovenous laser treatment is not only best suited for varicose veins but also most patients complaining of spider veins. Following are some benefits of opting for laser treatment as opposed to other surgical treatment options:
- Endovenous laser treatment has a high success rate
- It is a quick and painless procedure
- The patient does not require general anaesthesia
- It is a non-surgical and thus, minimally invasive treatment
- There is no risk of scarring
- You can resume normal activities right after the treatment is complete (you must, however, avoid strenuous exercises).
- Most patients have confirmed about experiencing instant relief from all varicose veins symptoms
the endovenous laser treatment has fewer side-effects.
- A few patients may have a burning sensation during the process but that generally goes away in a few hours
- Darker skin tone patients may witness slight skin colour change
- There are negligible chances of blood clotting or nerve damage
Why choose Endovenous Laser Treatment over Sclerotherapy?
Although both these treatment options for varicose veins are effective, there are a few benefits of endovenous laser treatment over sclerotherapy. Let us understand them below:
- Sclerotherapy is not suitable for spider veins as they are too small to be injected with a sclerosant
- Laser therapy is ideal for patients who are allergic to the sclerosant
- Sclerotherapy does not offer instant relief from varicose vein symptoms but endovenous laser treatment quickly eases off the pain, itching, swelling, irritation, and discomfort in the damaged area.
- Sclerotherapy may lead to air bubbles and blood clots but there are negligible chances of any major side-effects in laser procedure
- The endovenous laser process can treat all varicose veins in a single session while the same patient may have to undergo numerous sclerotherapy sessions for complete relief from varicose veins.
Endovenous laser treatment is the newest and the most effective procedure for the cure of varicose veins. Irrespective of the severity of the condition and the patient’s age, most people can be successfully treated in a single session.
As opposed to most other surgical treatment procedures for venous disorders, the endovenous laser treatment does not require general anaesthesia and gives instant relief from chronic pain and discomfort in the affected area.
If you are looking for a painless, minimally-invasive, and quick but genuine treatment of your varicose veins, get in touch with the vascular specialists at Avis Vascular Centre. With a large number of experienced healthcare practitioners headed by the trained vascular surgeon and qualified interventional radiologist Dr. Rajah V Koppala, Avis Vascular Centre has the most advanced medical equipment and the latest laser technology for all leading venous disorders such as varicose veins and spider veins.
Do not hesitate, schedule an appointment with the best interventional radiologist of Indian, Dr. Rajah V Koppala at Avis Vascular Centre today!