What to Expect with Endovenous Laser Treatments

Endovenous Thermal Ablation Treatment

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Endovenous laser treatment is a minimally invasive treatment for veins. Learn what to expect from this procedure, the length it takes, as well as benefits & more.

If you are seeking treatment because you suffer from varicose veins or another vein disease, you are not alone. More the 80 million Americans suffer from vein disease, according to estimates. Vein disease is a medical condition that can lead to further health problems or may indicate other medical conditions.

If left untreated, varicose veins can cause symptoms such as pain, fatigue, itching, burning, and swelling. In some extreme cases, patients experience throbbing and restlessness, to the point that they feel the need to keep their legs moving constantly.

Varicose vein disease can be very complex, and each patient is unique. At Vein Clinics of America, we know how important it is for you to find the right physician to treat your particular condition. Our network physicians are dedicated to making you feel at ease throughout the process. We are there to help, and since we’re experts in our field, we are confident we can do the best job for you. If you are seeking a safe and minimally invasive treatment option, continue reading to learn about Endovenous Laser Treatment.

What is Endovenous Laser Treatment?

Endovenous laser treatment (EVLA, or sometimes referred to as EVLT) is a quick, minimally invasive laser treatment that requires no hospitalization and no complicated surgery. EVLA for the elimination of varicose veins has become the gold standard in varicose vein treatment; it uses laser energy, which is simply a highly concentrated beam of light.

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Why is this Procedure Performed?

The goals of treatment are to eliminate varicose veins, reduce symptoms, and minimize the risk of complications from vein disease, including blood clots.

How Does EVLA Work?

With EVLA, a small optic fiber is inserted through a needle into the varicose vein under ultrasound guidance. The laser is activated, and as the optic fiber is removed from the vein, it heats and closes the vein. Once the vein is closed, the blood that was circulating through the vein is naturally rerouted to other healthy veins. Over time, the closed vein is absorbed by the body.

How Long is an EVLA Session?

The entire procedure, from start to finish, takes about an hour, and there is very little or no pain. Another advantage of treating varicose veins with EVLA is that most insurance plans and Medicare cover it.

Is EVLA Safe?

In the hands of a skilled physician, lasers offer far less risk for complications than conventional surgery.

The procedure is minimally invasive and requires no general anesthesia. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area where the physician is working. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after the procedure and can resume normal activities the same day.

Benefits of EVLA Over Surgery

Not everyone is a candidate for endovenous laser therapy. People who are candidates may choose it over a surgical varicose vein treatment for the following reasons:

  • Lower recurrence of varicose veins
  • Much lower complication rate
  • No general anesthesia
  • Less painful
  • No recovery period
  • Minimal or no scarring

What to Expect – Your Initial Appointment

Your first appointment at Vein Clinics of America will be a consultation with one of our doctors, who is an experienced vein specialist.

  • The physician will examine your condition and discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan with you.
  • If you have any questions, your physician will be happy to take the time with you to answer them.
  • At the end of your consultation, our office manager will sit down with you to discuss your insurance benefits.

Before the Procedure – Venous Mapping

If you are diagnosed with large vein disease during your consultation, your next appointment is called a “venous mapping.”

  • During this appointment, you will meet with one of our ultrasonographers, who will use ultrasound to “map” out the veins in your legs.
  • We use this ultrasound to prepare a comprehensive venous flow map, which illustrates the path of the blood flowing through the abnormal veins and where the trouble begins, giving us a detailed view of your varicose vein system.
  • The venous map depicts details not visible from the surface – details that make treatment safer and more beneficial.

After the Procedure – Recovery

  • You can return to most normal activities, but you will need to wear compression stockings and avoid high-impact activities for two weeks after the procedure.
  • Some people experience bruising, tenderness or swelling after the procedure.
  • These side effects can be reduced or prevented by wearing compression stockings as directed.

Follow-Up Appointments

While it is highly unlikely that the veins we treat will come back, other veins in your legs may become abnormal over time. Our follow-up program is designed to identify and address potential problems before varicose veins can become re-established. This program is based on your individual condition and is intended to ensure successful long-term results.

Interested in reading more about vein ablation? Explore our collection of vein ablation topics.

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Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Satish Vayuvegula
Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is the National Medical Director at Vein Clinics of America. Certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is recognized as a physician who has met rigorous standards of knowledge and extensive training in phlebology, the diagnosis and treatment of varicose vein disease and related disorders. Dr. Satish also shares his passion and expertise by serving as a board member of the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, the predominant national organization for venous and lymphatic disease.

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