What is Endovenous Laser Ablation?
Endovenous laser ablation is an in-office, outpatient, minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins and the underlying chronic venous insufficiency, performed under local anesthesia. This procedure involves administering local anesthesia on a small area of the skin to insert an endovenous laser into the diseased vein under ultrasound guidance.
Is EVLT Effective?
Endovenous laser ablation was pioneered in 2003 as a minimally invasive alternative to complex vascular surgeries for varicose veins. Until then, varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency could only be treated with complex surgeries, such as vein ligation, vein stripping, and venous bypass surgery. These procedures involved hospitalization, multiple excisions, an extended recovery period, and a relatively high risk of complications.
Endovenous laser ablation proved to be groundbreaking because it only involves one small incision on the skin’s surface, and patients could resume most of their daily activities immediately. Furthermore, EVLT dramatically lowered the risk of complications, such as deep vein thrombosis and infections. Long-term clinical evidence also shows that EVLT minimizes the risk of vein disease recurrence.
As such, to put it simply, endovenous laser ablation is extremely safe and effective.
How Does EVLT Work?
Your EVLT journey starts with an initial consultation with the vein doctor in Long Island. The vein doctor will examine your leg veins and perform ultrasound diagnosis to determine if you have chronic venous insufficiency. If so, the vein doctor will determine if you’re a good candidate for endovenous laser ablation. The vein physician will also answer your questions, and you’ll be asked to avoid caffeine on the day of your procedure.
When you appear for the EVLT procedure, the medical team will ask you to lie down on the operating table in a comfortable position. Your legs will be prepared for the treatment. The vein doctor will administer local anesthesia to numb your skin’s surface, and then guide a hollow tube, called a catheter, through a small incision on the skin’s surface.The hollow needle will be connected to a laser fiber, which will be guided into the diseased vein using ultrasound.
Once the laser fiber is lodged in place, the vein doctor will inject an anesthetic fluid to protect the surrounding tissues. The laser fiber will be activated to heat the diseased vein’s walls and induce an inflammatory response to seal it shut. The accumulated blood will reroute into healthier leg veins, restoring optimal blood circulation, and the diseased vein will eventually get reabsorbed by the body.
What are the Side Effects of EVLT?
You can avoid most of the side effects of EVLT if you have the treatment performed by a reliable and highly experienced vein doctor in Long Island. The following are the possible side effects of endovenous laser ablation:
- Minor stiffness (common)
- Mild soreness (common)
- Temporary numbness (rare)
- Recurrence of vein disease (rare)
- Infection (extremely rare)
- Deep vein thrombosis (extremely rare)
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of EVLT?
- Mild to moderate pain and discomfort
- No risk of skin discoloration after the procedure
- Concludes within an hour
- Immediate return to daily activities
- No scarring
- The procedure involves needles
- Must avoid strenuous workouts for a week
- More uncomfortable than radiofrequency ablation
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