EndoVenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) of Varicose Veins
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is the latest innovation in the treatment of varicose veins. This minimally procedure is the alternative to the traditional vein stripping surgery which involves long recovery periods and unsightly scars. EVLT uses the modern technologies of endovascular techniques combined with Laser technology to affectively treat varicose veins without surgery. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia in the doctor’s office with no scarring. Patients may return to normal activities immediately after the procedure with a relatively pain-free recovery period.
Prior to the procedure, patients may be instructed to take medication to relax them during the procedure. EVLT treatment usually takes about 30 minutes to complete. After the affected leg is washed with an antiseptic solution, the leg is scanned using the ultrasound to locate and map the affected vein. The access sight is identified and is numbed using a local anesthetic. A needle is inserted into the vein and a wire is passed through the needle into the vein. The needle is removed and a special tube, called a sheath, is inserted over the wire and into the vein. After proper location of the tip is confirmed using the ultrasound a thin laser fiber is inserted through the sheath. While slowly withdrawing the sheath, laser energy is applied to the vein causing it to heat up, shrink, collapse, and seal shut. Blood flow will be redirected through healthy veins. The sheath and laser fiber is removed and the puncture wound is covered with a band aid type dressing.
Compression stocking is immediately donned and patients are required to wear them for several days. Patients are encouraged to walk and return to normal activity immediately. Patients are released as soon as the procedure is completed with instructions to return for a follow-up visit in a few days. Patients may experience some minor bruising of the leg. Any discomforts may be relieved by taking over-the-counter non-aspirin pain relievers. Unsightly veins and leg discomfort will begin to diminish after the procedure.
Frequently Asked Question about EVLT
What are the benefits of endovenous laser therapy for varicose veins?
What happens to my blood flow after the vein is shut down?
Varicose veins affect only the superficial veins. Your legs have numerous other veins that take over automatically to allow the blood to flow properly.
Are there any side effects or potential complications of the procedure?
There are no known long term side effects. Complications are rare and minimal. They may include perforation of the vein, thrombosis, embolism, phlebitis, hematoma, infection, numbness, and burns to the skin. Talk with your physician about these potential complications.
How successful is this procedure?
EVLT is a relatively new procedure, however early results have been extremely good. Success rates have been reported to be as good as the traditional surgery. Ask your physician about their success rates.
Before & After EVLT