Endovenous Laser Treatment
EVLT or Endovenous Laser Treatment is one of best treatment options available for large varicose veins and is quickly becoming the standard treatment. This procedure is also called Endovenous Laser Ablation or EVLA. Though it is often used for cosmetic purposes, it is more commonly used to help ease or eliminate symptoms including aching, leg swelling, skin irritation, discoloration or inflammation.
How EVLT Works
Endovenous laser treatment is highly effective and works best when vein specialists use an optical fiber that thermally ablates (removes/destroys) incompetent varicose veins. Our specially designed lasers are designed with a wavelength of light that specifically targets damaged veins. By permanently shrinking and collapsing the diseased vein, this varicose vein laser treatment can effectively remove diseased veins at their point of origin. As a result, the targeted veins are treated and none of the surrounding tissues are damaged in the process. Lasers have proven their value and safety for treatment of varicose veins, as long as they are in the hands of a skilled and licensed physician.
Benefits of EVLT
The benefits of EVLT are quite substantial, as they receive the same results of ligation and stripping, but without any of the negative effects that those procedures often produce. Some of the additional advantages include:
- Safe, immediate relief to the patient; EVLT is generally complication-free
- Less invasive than traditional surgery
- Leaves virtually no scars, requiring skin openings of only a few millimeters that require no stitching
- Most treatments render veins invisible (even to ultrasound) as soon as 12 months after the procedure
- No general anesthesia required
Patients often can, and are encouraged to, walk immediately after the procedure. They can often resume normal activities the same day of the procedure.
Performed under local anesthesia, endovenous laser treatment is a superior method of vein treatment to antiquated methods such as surgical vein stripping. Utilizing a detailed ultrasound map, one of our expert doctors decides which veins will be ablated by EVLT.
On the day of the endovenous laser treatment, the patient comes into the office, is prep by our clinicians and then the doctor places an intravenous drip into the patient. The IV is a hydration safety measure for any patient having a surgical procedure performed. Once the patient is ready, the ultrasound sonographer and the physician begin the procedure. The physician locally anesthetizes the area to be treated, makes a minuscule incision on the lower portion of the extremity and then inserts a small sheath into the lower part of the diseased vein.
Next, the doctor feeds the laser fiber to the predetermined section of the diseased vein. At this point the doctor anesthetizes the entirety of the vein to be treated.
Following preparation, the doctor starts the procedure by turning the laser on, which emits a specific wavelength from the laser fiber inside. The fiber is slowly withdrawn from the vein, and as it withdraws, closes the vein with light and heat energy.
Following the procedure, the patient is encouraged to wear compression stockings and walk as frequently as possible to initiate healthy blood circulation. Necessary follow-up appointments are scheduled to ensure that the endovenous laser treatment is working as planned.
What to Expect after the procedure
Once the procedure has been completed, you may experience a tight feeling in your legs as well as mild bruising. However, these symptoms are common and should disappear within a few days. Additionally, you will immediately be able to resume your daily activities. However, we recommend that you avoid heavy lifting and intense exercise for a short period of time.
Prior to and after the procedure, our team will review everything in detail, answering any questions and explaining any risks. EVLT is one of, if not the, most effective treatments for varicose veins.