Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
With the latest advancement in laser technology, varicose vein can now be treated effectively with no stripping or downtime.
What is Endovenous Laser Ablation?
The procedure involves the insertion of a tiny laser fiber into the vein, which seals the vein shut so it eventually collapses and fades from view. Blood flow is naturally rerouted through other health veins in the area. The entire treatment is done with minimal discomfort for the patient and almost no downtime afterward. The technique can be used on all types of varicose veins and works particularly well on larger veins that may not respond well to other types of treatment.
Is Endovenous Laser Ablation Right for Me?
If you have large varicose veins that are causing you embarrassment or uncomfortable symptoms, you might be a good candidate for endovenous laser ablation. Symptoms of varicose veins might include:
- Heaviness or achiness in the lower legs
- Restless legs
- Swelling in the ankles and lower legs
- Itching or burning on the skin surrounding the veins
When you undergo endovenous laser ablation, most of these symptoms abate within a few days after the procedure. It may take longer for the veins to disappear completely. Patients who want endovenous laser ablation should be in reasonably good health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure.
What are the Benefits of Endovenous Laser Ablation?
Because endovenous laser ablation can be successfully used to treat larger varicose veins, it has a number of benefits over microphlebectomy, also known as vein stripping, including:
- Less discomfort during and after the procedure
- Almost no recovery time afterward
- An effective solution for varicose veins that works well in the large majority of patients
- No incisions mean no scarring afterward
- No anesthesia required, so risks are minimal
Endovenous laser ablation is typically only used for larger varicose veins, since spider veins respond much better to treatments like sclerotherapy.
What is the Procedure Like?
Endovenous laser ablation is performed right in our vein clinic by one of our experienced doctors on staff. Local anesthetic is administered to the treatment site, and then a thin laser fiber is placed directly into the affected vein. Laser energy is delivered into the vein, causing it to seal shut and eventually fade from view. The laser is then removed and a dressing is applied to the injection site. The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete, depending on how many veins are to be treated.
What can I Expect Afterward?
After the procedure, patients are instructed to wear compression stockings to reduce swelling and post-operative discomfort. Walking immediately after the procedure is encouraged and normal activities may be resumed right away. Any minor soreness or bruising can be effectively treated with over the counter pain medications. You will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment a week later, so your doctor can evaluate the success of your procedure. Varicose veins usually disappear completely within a few months after the treatment.
Is Endovenous Laser Ablation a Permanent Solution to Varicose Veins?
Because endovenous laser ablation permanently damages the affected vein, it will not return to view. However, patients who are prone to varicose veins may have others appear in the same area. If this occurs, subsequent procedures may need to be performed to ensure the patient maintains the cosmetic appearance and to prevent additional symptoms associated with varicose veins.
Endovenous laser ablation is an effective, non-invasive method for treating larger varicose veins. Unlike surgical procedures, this treatment provides minimal discomfort and almost no downtime afterward. To find out if endovenous laser ablation is the right choice for you contact USC Vein Centers for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.