Recent advances in medical technology have led to a new method of treating varicose veins for those who would rather avoid potentially painful surgery. Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is an alternative to the typical method of tying and removing abnormal, bulging spider veins such as those caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
During an Endovenous Laser Ablation procedure, a laser is used to kill the delicate lining of the veins. Over the days following the procedure, the body will absorb the dead tissue and close off the abnormal veins. EVLA is one of the many procedures offered at Premier Vein and Vascular for the treatment of varicose veins, and could be the ideal procedure to get you the results you want.
EVLA is suitable for almost all patients with varicose veins. The process is far less complex and minimally invasive, guided by ultrasound imaging for best results.
The procedure begins with an ultrasound scan of the affected area to map out the veins and determine where the laser will be applied. Once this is done, the veins to be treated are marked with a pen.
After your leg is cleaned off by your vascular specialist, the prep work is over and the main part of the procedure can begin. A local anesthetic will be injected into the skin over the vein to numb the area and prevent discomfort.
Once it sets in, a needle will be inserted into the skin. Through this needle goes a catheter, and inside the catheter is a laser fiber. It will go up to the highest point in the vein to be heated.
Once there, the laser will be turned on and your vascular specialist will slowly pull the laser fiber down the length of the vein being treated, singing it closed. At the end, the laser and the catheter will be removed and the needle puncture covered with a dressing. The whole process takes about 20 to 30 minutes per leg.
After EVLA Procedure
After your appointment is finished, you can return home, but it is advised to take public transport or arrange a ride home. You will have to wear compression stockings for two weeks after the treatment, and will have to take certain precautions when bathing while the needle puncture heals. Your life overall won’t be disrupted, and you will be able to return to work and most normal activities, with a few notable exceptions. You will be expected to wear the stockings for a certain period of recovery time, and during this period you cannot swim or submerge your legs. Some mild pain may appear in the treated area in the days immediately after the treatment, but it is usually mild and will fade with time.
Most of the time one session of EVLA is enough to achieve results. Varicose veins become less obvious after EVLA, but may not disappear completely. Additional supplementary treatments such as avulsions or sclerotherapy can better eliminate varicose veins completely, though you should discuss these with your vascular specialist to determine if you need them, and if so, which would be best.
Serious complications after an EVLA treatment are very rare. You may develop some small blood clots in the veins that branch off the laser-treated vein, but these are absorbed by your body over the weeks following the procedure. More serious complications can include burns from the heat of the laser, as well as minor nerve damage if the nerves alongside the veins are exposed to the laser too much. These result in numb patches that usually resolve over a few months.
Is EVLA The Right Option for Me?
Ultimately there are many ways to go about treating varicose veins, and EVLA is just one option. The expert vascular specialists at Premier Vein and Vascular will meet with you to determine which one is right for your needs. Schedule your appointment today by calling 1-888-VEINCARE or use our convenient online appointment request form.