Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does the laser work in this procedure?
The laser is inserted into the veins and seals the vein without having to strip the veins.
2. How many years has the doctor been performing this laser procedure?
Dr. Skellenger first performed the laser procedure in September 2001. He now has performed over two hundred of these procedures. This laser procedure is the most modern operation in surgery.
3. Can I travel soon after the procedure?
Yes. Normal activities are possible immediately. One eighty-three year old patient walked home three blocks immediately after our office procedure was performed.
4. Are there any stitches?
No. Most all the varicose vein procedure requires only small openings which do not require any stitches.
5. Can the laser burn my skin or me?
The laser works under the skin inside the veins. Only these veins are affected by the laser. With the local anesthesia around the veins no sensations are felt.
6. How does the laser procedure differ from the operation vein stripping?
The small laser fiber is inserted into the vein causing the problem. The laser seals this vein correcting the problem without having the need to physically remove the entire vein.
7. What is the down time for being off work and exercise?
The laser procedure is performed through a small opening that does not even require stitches. One eighty three year old patient actually walked home three blocks away immediately following the procedure. Most people will return to work in a couple of days. Strenuous exercise (jogging etc) is not recommended for one week.
8. How long does the procedure take and am I put to sleep?
The laser procedure itself takes less than one hour. Local anesthesia is all that is required. No longer do patients need to undergo the risks and side effects of general anesthesia.
9. How big is the incision?
The laser procedure requires an opening the size of a freckle. No stitches are needed.
10. Will I feel pain and is there pain afterwards?
The laser procedure requires only local anesthetic and the patients do not feel any pain when the laser is working. Several days after the operation some tightness will be felt in the thigh. Advil or Ibuprofen is all that is needed for the discomfort.
11. Will there be bruising?
Yes. Bruising occurs in the thigh in most patients and it will clear in 10 days.
12. Can I see a difference instantly?
Many patients feel a difference immediately, with loss of the aching and heaviness in their leg. When the laser procedure is combined with microphlebectomy (i.e. removing the dilated varicose veins) the leg will look flat immediately.
13. How safe is the procedure?
This operation is much safer than vein stripping. Gone are the risks of general anesthesia major bleeding, pain, and scars that are involved in vein stripping.
14. What is the success rate for the laser procedure?
In the last two hundred that Dr. Skellenger has performed, only two required an additional treatment to fully control the varicose veins. Short procedures requiring only local anesthetic were needed.
15. Can the veins come back?
The rate of recurrence of varicose veins after the laser procedure is approximately three percent. This is much better than the twenty to twenty- five percent recurrence rate seen with vein stripping.
16. Can I have breakfast?
Yes. Meals and medication are to be taken even on the morning of your operation.
17. Can I have a pill to relax me?
Yes. We offer a relaxing pill for the procedure as well as the local anesthesia.
1. Why do I get spider veins?
Spider veins are the small purple veins that do not bulge out the skin - they are usually hereditary in nature.
2. Does sclerotherapy (the injections) or laser treatment hurt?
Sclerotherapy is performed with extremely small needles. The solution is a local anesthetic and has no pain on injection. The laser treatment requires temporary ice cooling before each treatment.
3. How many treatments do I need?
The average is three to six treatments depending on the patient’s response to each treatment.
4. How long do I wear compression hose?
The compression hose are required for only one week after each treatment.
5. Are the spider veins gone instantly?
No. The veins remain slightly red for several days, and then they begin to fade over one month.