The treatment of varicose and thread veins with a laser is less intrusive than other procedures such as surgery, and for those with a fear of needles, it can also replace sclerotherapy. The procedure requires certain precautions however, and it can only be carried out after an examination of your veins by a specialist.
Target: Small or medium-sized varicose and thread veins on the lower limbs.
How does it work? The wavelength of the laser depends on the colour of the vein being treated. It targets hemoglobin and causes the photocoagulation of venules. The number of sessions varies, depending on the size of the veins and their severity. The impact of the laser can be unpleasant (a stinging sensation), and the treatment of varicose veins is generally painful. The use of a local anesthetic isn't possible because it retracts the blood vessels and therefore minimizes the effect of the treatment. Nevertheless, the skin's cooling system acts as a good anesthetic.
Post-treatment: Immediately after the treatment, there's visible swelling of the treated area, and red blotches appear. Healing takes between 4 and 6 weeks and the formation of little scabs is common and normal.
Result: The result is generally excellent, but more variable with thread veins. In certain cases, complementary sclerotherapy is necessary.
Price: From £1650 to £3250 for one leg. Treatment is not usually available on the NHS if it's purely for cosmetic reasons. However, many surgeons offer treatment privately.