A lot of us grew up with either Popular Science or the Jetsons in our childhoods. Both the magazine and the cartoon show were giving us glimpses into a hoped-for future, where wed zap about in air-cars and mechanical maids would oversee the running of the household.
Most science-fiction movies from back in those days would feature at least a brief appearance by a laser-pistol or rifle, or, on a more ambitious scale, a laser cannon so huge it could possibly knock down the Battlestar Gallactica.
Well. I think weve been more than patient about this lamentable situation wherein nobody is selling us air cars yet. Ill be content with my Roomba instead of a robot-maid since commercial technology tells me its doing the best it can.
But lasers! Zap and shazam, these sounds made the ping-ping of the common projectile based guns obsolete. Do you remember the sound that filled your ears the first time you saw a light saber switched on?
Im happy to report that laser technology really is being harnessed to use in the treatment of varicose veins. This new laser method completely bypasses the complications (including pain and recovery time) that tend to be associated with the procedure called Ã¢â‚¬Å“vein-stripping.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A little backround: as your veins return blood from your capillaries to your heart, they must work to push the blood flow upwards. As with all mechanical valve systems, the valves in your veins that prevent backflow can fail periodically. Eventually blood will pool in the affected area and the twisting and bulging of varicose veins will become evident.
Youre probably asking yourself how this laser procedure is different from the usual ones. First, remember that a lot of preparation has to go into surgery that this laser procedure doesnt require. The laser requires no general anesthesia, nor is there the considerably-long recovery time inherent in surgery.
The risk of infection is significantly mitigated and the amount of pain experienced by the patient is much less than with surgery.
The incision that the physician makes to insert the laser fiber is so tiny that it usually doesnt even require a single stitch to close it back up. Through this small entry point, the physician will guide the laser fiber to the area requiring the treatment. Once the fiber is in position the correct wavelength of laser energy is directed to the affected tissue which causes the weak back flowing veins to shut down completely, allowing your body to reroute the blood to healthier veins. The actual laser procedure usually takes less than an hour to complete and is done with a local anesthetic.
Like other laser procedures, this one involves a highly-concentrated beam of light that is delivered to a damaged area. Because of its nature, light is extremely precise, and can treat an area without affecting the healthy tissue right next to the treated tissue.
Another fact to recommend this process is how rapidly you see the results. Despite a bit of possible residual swelling after the procedure, you will see the results very quickly.
The age of laser-therapy has just taken another step forward!