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How Painful Is Varicose Vein Laser Treatment?

Varicose veins can be painful. They are swollen, twisted blood vessels that commonly appear in the legs and feet. They cause discomfort, aching pain, cramps, tenderness, burning sensations, and swelling of legs. Despite the intense pain, most people with varicose veins are reluctant to see a doctor because they assume the treatment will be painful, but this is not the case with varicose vein laser treatment.

Is varicose vein laser treatment painful?

Many people believe that varicose vein is painful, especially since the common way of treating the condition for years involved using anesthesia and an operating room. This method of treating varicose veins is known as ‘vein stripping, a surgical procedure used to remove varicose veins from the legs.

Varicose vein laser treatment is a different technique used to remove varicose veins, and it doesn’t require general anesthesia. Also, it’s not as painful as other surgical techniques used in the past and has a high success rate – approximately 94 percent of the time.

Varicose vein laser treatment might be a relatively new approach in the medical field, but it has these key benefits:

  • Less swelling
  • Less bruising
  • Minimally-invasive
  • Done under local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia

How does varicose vein laser treatment work?

The process begins with a consultation session with the doctor, where you will discuss your body goals and be asked about your medical history. Next, the doctor will use an ultrasound device to map your vein to avoid any trial-and-error. This makes the laser treatment accurate, fast, and effective.

Your doctor will administer numbing injections and then make a tiny cut around the target area to insert the catheter. It is guided into the vein, and a pulse of larger energy is released to seal the vein and cut off its blood supply. While this is going on, the doctor monitors the entire process on a duplex ultrasound screen.

When the pulse of laser energy is delivered to the vein, the treatment begins. This is the most painful part of the procedure, but thanks to the numbing medications, you will likely not feel any discomfort or pain.

After the treatment, the catheter is removed, and a small bandage is placed. There’s no need for stitches since it’s a tiny incision. From start to finish, the treatment takes less than 2 hours. You won’t need to stay at the hospital as you should be able to return to your normal daily routine.

Side effects

Like any other cosmetic procedure, varicose vein laser treatment has its effects.
These include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Soreness
  • Redness or swelling

These effects are temporary, but over-the-counter pain relievers are usually enough to take the edge off.


Varicose vein laser treatment is painless as the only sensation a patient will feel the poke of the tiny needle used to administer local anesthetic. If you have cold feet about the procedure, you should speak with a highly trained and experienced doctor to get answers to any further questions you may have.