DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Varicose veins can be a source of embarrassment for millions of Americans. They can be unsightly, but also painful.
Floyd Alexander isn't a vain man. But, he doesn't like suffering from varicose veins.
"If I stand on it all day it gets worse," Alexander said, "it looked like a string of pearls running up my leg."
The 64-year-old first noticed the condition last August after a long day of working outside. But the look of his legs was not what brought him to Dallas Vein Specialists.
"I was more concerned about the pain I was having," Alexander said.
Dr. Lonnie Whiddon sees both men and women who suffer from swollen, twisted and painful varicose veins.
"We see more women because women are more conscious of the appearance. And the appearance is one of the main problems as the veins get bigger and bigger over time and become unsightly," Whiddon said.
But a procedure using a specialized cool touch laser can permanently remove them. Dr. Whiddon gives a localized anesthetic to the patient then threads a laser fiber directly into the vein. The machine slowly goes to work. You can see a red light shine through the skin as the laser moves down the leg.
"As it turns back and is pulled out of the leg, the hot tip of the laser targets the wall of the vein which is what we're trying to injure causing it to immediately shut down," Whiddon said.
After the vein is destroyed, the varicosis, or swollen off-shoots of the vein, is then physically removed. They are pulled out through tiny incisions in the skin.
In before and after photos you can see the amazing results which are immediate and permanent in 98 percent of cases. The cool touch laser leaves very little bruising and the procedure is painless.
Floyd Alexander is looking forward to a life without any more pain.
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