Endovenous Laser Treatment For Varicose Veins
Endovenous laser ablation has different proprietary names such as EVLT, VeinSeal, ELVes. There are many names due to the fact that manufacturers name them.
What is EVLT?
Endovenous laser treatment is a technologically advanced method to treat varicose veins non-invasively. Rather than removing the abnormally swollen veins, a laser beam is used to heat them. Heat kills the outer walls of the veins and allows the body to absorb the dead tissues naturally. The treatment can be carried out in a room instead of an OR.
Almost everyone suffering from varicose veins can undergo this treatment. However, if the treatment is not suitable for some people, they can manage the condition with foam sclerotherapy.
Before the procedure, an ultrasound scanning is done to identify the abnormal veins. The veins are marked. The patient has to lie on the couch with legs cleaned and covered. Steps are explained to patients during the ultrasound scan.
The meaning of the word endovenous is inside the vein. In the next step, the doctor goes inside the vein. A local anesthetic is used before inserting the needle into the vein. Then, a wire would be passed through the needle to reach up the abnormal vein. The needle would be removed and a thin plastic tube, or catheter, would be passed over the wire, up to the vein, and the wire is then removed.
A fiber of laser is passed up through the catheter so that its tip lies at its highest point for heating. A large amount of anesthetic solution is injected around the particular vein through multiple pricks of tiny needles. Thereafter, the laser is fired up and pulled down the veins for about 5 minutes. After that, you would hear a buzzer ringing and you may also taste or smell something burning, but you would not feel any pain.
The entire treatment takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes for each leg.
Post Treatment Care
You can go home after the treatment. However, you should not drive or walk. You should wear the varicose veins stocking for at least two weeks. You have to follow bathing instructions given by your doctor. Though you can do most of the normal activities, just be very careful.
You should not swim until you are advised that it is safe to do so. Patients generally experience a mild tightening sensation along the treated vein. Some may also experience pain in the area after a few days. Anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen are good relievers.
Is Further Treatment Necessary?
If your treatment is only to relieve the symptoms of varicose veins, you may not need further treatment. However, most patients want to improve the look of those affected veins. Out of these cases, approximately 80% require additional treatment.
While the varicosities become less obvious after the treatment, it does not disappear completely. Some patients may require further treatment for varicosities such as foam sclerotherapy or avulsions. Patients can undergo these treatments with EVLA or after a couple of weeks.
Some rare complications are serious nerve damage, burns, thrombophlebitis, and DVT.