Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) – Varicose Vein Treatment
Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) is a minimally invasive ultrasound-guided technique to treat varicose veins with laser energy. It is a clinically proven alternative to the more traditional and painful techniques of surgical ligation and vein stripping. It involves no general anesthesia, minimal risk, and a shorter recovery time.
The EVLT procedure uses the latest generation of VenaCure EVLT® catheter, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this procedure, a small laser fiber is inserted directly inside the faulty vein under local anesthesia. The laser delivers a precise dose of energy into the vein wall, resulting in vein collapse. This process, also called “vein ablation,” closes off the dysfunctional superficial vein and diverts blood flow to nearby functional veins. The resulting improved circulation reduces the symptoms of varicose veins and improves their cosmetic appearance.
The procedure is performed in the office and generally takes less than one hour. It offers immediate relief with minimal-to-no scarring. Patients resume normal activities immediately and typically experience little discomfort. The success rate of the procedure is approximately 98%, which is better than the aforementioned alternatives.
While all procedures carry some degree of risk, the potential complications of the EVLT procedure are low. The main risk is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which occurs in <2% of patients. Patients are screened for this potential complication immediately after the procedure and during a 1 week post procedure ultrasound study. Side effects of the procedure include mild bruising and tenderness that usually disappear within a few weeks. Some patients report a pulling sensation in the treated leg, which resolves with time and confirms that the vein was successfully treated. Any discomfort is generally managed with over-the-counter medications like Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
When used to treat medical conditions such as swelling and poor circulation, the EVLT procedure is typically reimbursed by most insurance companies. With more than 70,000 procedures performed and greater than 60 published clinical articles documenting its efficacy over the past five years, EVLT has emerged as a safe, effective, and minimally-invasive means of treating varicose veins.