Should I choose conventional surgery or laser for my varicose veins?

Should I choose conventional surgery or laser for my varicose veins?


Blood vessels in the human body spread throughout the body, bringing the essential oxygen to the tissues. Varicose veins are actually veins, bringing blood to the heart from the rest of the body. Every human has varicose veins but not everyone’s veins get dysfunctional.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins, usually blue or purple and they commonly appear in the legs. They develop when blood pools in veins, causing them to stretch. To do this, the veins in the legs must work against gravity and they cannot bring blood loaded with carbon dioxide and waste material from the limbs to the heart.

Since humans started walking on two feet our legs have to carry an increased amount of weight. Because of this, the valves inside our veins can be damaged sooner, leading to inadequate functioning.

How to treat varicose veins?

The exact treatment always depends on the severity of your condition. In mild cases it might be enough to change lifestyle habits: moderate alcohol consumption, stop smoking and losing weight can work. Being overweight is especially hard on our body and veins, as more weight means more pressure.

If your condition is severesurgery is the option you can choose. This eliminates the risks for complications like thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or leg ulcers.

There are different surgeries (stripping or laser) available from which your doctor chooses the one that suits you most.

What is the difference between the conventional and laser therapy for varicose veins?

Stripping surgeryLaser surgery (EVLA)
The complexity of the procedureYou need a consultation with an anesthesiologist. General anesthesia is given, cuts are made and stiches are needed. It takes approx. 1,5 hourThe procedure is shorter, the vein is destroyed by a laser through a needle point in the skin. There are no stiches, cuts and blood
Pain (management)It’s either done under general or spinal anesthesiaLocal anesthesia is sufficient
RisksThere are risks associated with general anesthesia, bleeding, infections, blood clots and scarringThe only risk is thrombosis which can be greatly reduced by following doctor’s orders.

Advantages of EVLA

  • Fast, routine procedure which can be done as an outpatient surgery: it only last for about 30 minutes!
  • It can be done under local anesthesia, sparing you the side effects of general anesthesia
  • There are no cuts and stiches
  • You won’t feel any pain
  • The side effects are basically non-existent
  • Besides all of this, this surgery carries only very small risks