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George M. Hariz, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a laser procedure different from surgery?

  • Surgery involves considerable preparation, a groin incision and one in the leg, general anesthesia, the risk of infection, pain in the affected areas, and a lengthy recovery period. The medical laser technology used in endovenous laser treatment eliminates all of that.
  • It’s "minimally invasive." The entry point through which your physician gets the laser fiber to the target area is extremely small, not even requiring stitches.
  • There is really no “recovery” to speak of. In fact, you’ll be up and walking as soon as it’s over, able to return to normal activity quickly.
  • The risk of infection is extremely low.

Are lasers safe?

Simply put, a laser is a highly concentrated beam of light. Medical lasers work by delivering this light energy to the targeted tissue with extreme precision so as not to affect the surrounding tissue. They’ve proven their safety and effectiveness through years of use in all kinds of medical procedures, from ophthalmology to dermatology. In the hands of a skilled physician, lasers offer far less risk and complications than conventional surgery.

How long after the procedure will I see the results?

There may be some slight swelling right after the procedure, but you could start seeing results immediately.

How long will the results last?

You should experience no reoccurrence in the veins that have been treated. Follow-up procedures may be desired to obtain optimal aesthetic results.

What test can be done to evaluate the venous system?

Historically, a good physical exam and history was all that was necessary. The best, objective test is a full venous duplex evaluation of the legs looking at the deep system, the superficial system, the perforators for not just thrombus (clots) but also the function/integrity of the one way valves and whether or not flow reversal is identified within the veins.

What is the success rate of endovenous laser treatment?

The success rate is generally about 98% where the vein closes and within six weeks patients have relief of their heaviness, ache and discomfort.

Don't I need my superficial veins?

When the superficial veins have valves that malfunction or become faulty, they actually interfere with normal return of blood to the heart. By closing or removing these veins, blood is diverted to other veins in the leg that have good, functional valves. This results in improved circulation and relief of symptoms.

I would like to have my veins treated, but I do not know if I have spider or varicose veins. How do you tell the difference?

We always recommend you come in for a free screening where our physicians will help determine what type of veins you have and what would be the best treatment plan for you.

Is sclerotherapy painful?

A small gauge needle is used to perform the sclerotherapy injections. Most patients relate the discomfort to an ant bite.

Is the spider vein treatment safe? Are there any side effects?

Sclerotherapy is very safe and has very few rare side effects or complications. The only common side effects from the treatment are bruising and tenderness in the areas injected. We recommend that you wear medical grade compression hose after your treatment for two full days and during the waking hours for 14 days post treatment. This will keep the swelling/bruising at a minimum and help you achieve the best results.

Will all my spider veins be treated in one visit?

The provider will treat the areas that bother you the most first and then move on to the less bothersome veins. The provider will treat as much as they can get to in the scheduled time. It depends on how many spider veins you have to determine how many visits you will need. Many patients generally need about 2-4 treatments.

What happens after the spider vein treatment?

Recovery periods may differ from treatment to treatment. Following sclerotherapy, support stockings are worn on each treated leg. Exercise is a very important part of the healing process. A 20 minute walk or bike ride twice a day is best for the healing process.

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