Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Learning About Simple Laser Treatment for Veins

Main Content

Learning About Simple Laser Treatment for Veins

What is simple laser treatment for veins?

Simple laser vein treatment is used to treat tiny varicose veins and spider veins that are just under the skin's surface. A laser is a focused beam of light. This type of laser is aimed at the outside of your skin. This treatment uses the heat of the laser to scar and close varicose veins.

Varicose veins look swollen and twisted under the skin. They develop most often in the legs and ankles. They are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs and other places in your body. These valves keep blood flowing toward your heart. When these valves don't work as they should, blood collects, and pressure builds up. The pressure causes the veins to become twisted and enlarged.

Spider veins are a form of varicose veins. They look like thin lines on the skin, like spider webs.

How is it done?

The procedure is usually done at your doctor's office. You will probably have to wear some kind of eye protection.

The laser is aimed at an affected vein. The laser light goes through the skin to treat the vein. You won't have any cuts, but the heat from the laser may cause some discomfort.

The laser causes scar tissue that closes the vein. After it is closed, a vein loses its source of blood. In time, the vein is harder to see.

A session takes 15 to 20 minutes. You might have more than one laser session. You might have another session in a few weeks.

What are the risks of laser treatment?

Risks of laser treatment include:

  • Skin burns.
  • Changes in the colour of the skin.

What can you expect after treatment?

You will be able to go back to your daily routine right away. You may have a few bruises along the length of the treated vein. Your doctor may put a bandage on the area. You also may have redness or swelling in your legs for a few days.

Your doctor will tell you if compression stockings will be helpful for you.

How can you care for yourself at home?

After laser treatment, avoid exposing your legs to the sun for as long as your doctor recommends. This may be for about 2 weeks.

Home treatment can relieve symptoms and slow down the progress of varicose veins.

Here are some things you can do at home:

  • Exercise. Staying active improves blood circulation in your legs.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase the swelling and discomfort of varicose veins.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting or standing.
  • Wear compression stockings.
  • Prop your legs on a pillow or a chair when you can.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter O629 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Simple Laser Treatment for Veins".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.