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Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment

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What is EVLA?

Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment 101

In EVLA (sometimes referred to as “laser treatment”), the doctor uses a small optic fiber inserted directly into targeted veins, and laser light is delivered to heat and collapse veins with unhealthy valves. The destroyed veins are absorbed by your body, and circulation naturally improves.

The procedure is nearly always performed under ultrasound guidance, giving the doctor a live view of your veins, for accuracy and safety.

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Why EVLA?

Benefits of laser treatment for varicose veins.

Endovenous LASER Ablation Treatment, also known as laser therapy, is a method that treats both the symptoms of varicose veins, and also treats the underlying condition that causes them. Here are a few reasons to consider laser therapy to treat your varicose vein disease:

  • It’s safe, proven, does not require hospitalization
  • The outpatient procedure time is usually less than an hour
  • Recovery time is generally a matter of hours
  • Most people do not find endovenous laser ablation to be overly uncomfortable

Unfortunately, laser treatment cannot treat veins that are too small, twisted, and/or close to the surface of the skin. For these cases, sclerotherapy is likely a better option. Your vascular specialist will tailor a varicose vein treatment plan specifically for your condition.

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Cost of Endovenous Laser Ablation

Costs for EVLA depend on a few different factors.

The price of an EVLA treatment varies depending on the physician’s diagnosis of the vein issue, as well as insurance coverage. Because treating vein disease is our specialty, we work with patients to discuss payment options that best fit your needs. Two popular options we have are CareCredit® and Flex Spend Accounts (FSA/HSA).

  • CareCredit® is a credit card made for out-of-pocket healthcare costs when insurance doesn’t fully cover treatments.
  • FSA and HSA are other options that may allow for reimbursement of health-related treatments and expenses, including those for vein disorders. However, always check with your plan’s administrator for options. For more information, visit our Financial Assistance page.

Potential Risks of Endovenous Laser Ablation

The risks of EVLA treatment are small and most are very rare.

This is a proven safe vein treatment performed multiple times a day at our vein clinics across the country. However, all vein procedures carry a potential risk. Some possible risks of EVLA treatment for vein disease include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots

How to Prepare for EVLA Treatment

Preparation for treatment is minimal and requires very little from the patient.

Endovenous LASER ablation procedures are performed in the office, they are minimally invasive, and require little to no preparation from the  patient. Following your consultation and ultrasound appointment your vein specialist will meet with you to share your customized treatment plan. They will provide an overview of the procedure, what you can expect, how to prepare for it, and what to expect following the procedure.

Here’s what to expect the night before and day of your EVLA procedure:

The night before treatment:

  • Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated and pack your compression stockings to bring to the office for the appointment.

The day of treatment:

  • Take medications as directed, eat meals as you normally would and drink plenty of water. If you have been prescribed compression stockings, do not wear them on the day of procedure.
  • Once you arrive at the office and check in, you will be escorted to a changing room where you will be asked to change into disposable shorts. Once ready, pre-procedure photos will be taken of your leg and you will then be escorted into the procedure room.
  • Your leg will be cleaned and draped as this is a sterile procedure. Your physician and healthcare team will walk you through each step in the process with as much or little detail as you would like. Ultrasound will be used for guidance so that the physician has a live view of your vein.
  • The appointment time will be approximately one hour but the procedure itself will be 15-20 minutes.
  • You will feel a light pinching as the anesthesia is injected just below the skin along the course of the vein and some pressure as the LASER fiber is passed through the vein. A bit more pressure may be felt as the physician injects additional numbing medication called tumescent anesthesia.
  • Once the procedure is complete, they will clean and bandage your leg and help you put on your compression stocking.
  • Once you change and check out, you can return to most normal activities right away.
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Endovenous Laser Ablation Side Effects

The side effects following EVLA are minimal, but may be more noticeable for some.

Although rare, the primary side effect is an allergy to the numbing medication (anesthesia). Immediately following the procedure, you may experience the following:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Discomfort
  • Rash from the compression stocking

Endovenous Laser Ablation Recovery

Recovery from EVLA is minimal.

Immediately following the appointment, you can resume most activities.

In order to ensure a smooth recovery, you will be given take home instructions which will outline what you can expect, what to do, as well as what not to do. Examples are below but these may differ based on your vein size, history, and provider preference:

What to expect immediately following the procedure:

  • Numbness along the course of the vein.
  • Stiffness in the leg.
  • Redness, warmth at the injection sites.
  • Some bruising may occur at the injection sites.

What TO do (day 1-5) after the procedure:

  • Take 2-3 20 minute brisk walks each day.
  • Wear compression stockings during the day.
  • Take over-the-counter pain or NSAID as needed.
  • Apply ice over areas of discomfort as needed.

What NOT to do (day 1-5) after the procedure:

  • Take hot baths or sit in a hot tub.
  • Go swimming in a pool or any body of water.
  • Long distance running or high intensity training.
  • Long travel (plane, long car drives).

What to expect weeks following the procedure:

  • Your leg will begin to feel better, you should begin to notice symptoms resolve, such as swelling, pain, and tenderness.
  • Thin patients, or those with veins near the surface of the skin may notice a shadow along the course of the vein and may feel a hard palpable cord – this is a normal part of the healing process and will fade over time in color and texture.

If you are interested in endovenous LASER ablation treatment for your varicose veins, get in touch with Vein Clinics of America.

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Not only has the pain in the back of my knees disappeared, but my thighs and calves now look fabulous. Haven't seen this clear skin look in more than 20 years. I can now spend time in the garden, cleaning the floors, and playing with my fur babies on the floor without any pain.
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