There was a recent TV feature on Channel 9 Television about laser treatment of varicose veins being painless. Is this true? Pain is certainly minimal in comparison to surgery but people do experience some pain so saying its painless is not entirely true.  The measure of pain is subjective as each individual has different tolerance thresholds for pain.  

Prior to the Laser being turned on and withdrawn through the vein, Tumescent Anaesthetic needs to be injected along the entire length of the vein with a series of needles so that the vein becomes enveloped in an anaesthetic blanket.  These injections are relatively painless but they are not painLESS.

Once the anaesthetic is inserted you can be confident that the laser treatment is completely painLESS no matter what type of laser or frequency of laser is being used.  

Following treatment the anaesthetic takes several hours to wear off and this is when some discomfort might develop.  Any dull ache that might develop which normally would only last a few days can normally be managed with ibuprofen or paracetamol. 

With the use of the newer types of Lasers there is often minimal or next to no pain over the recovery period.  There has been a trend towards the use of lower frequency Lasers (1470nm) which specifically target water in the vein wall rather than the blood inside the vein. The lower power settings required for these new types of Lasers accounts for the significant reduction in post procedural pain. 

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AuthorNicholas Kemp