Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is a minimally invasive, office-based treatment that uses the heat from a specialized laser to target the root cause of venous reflux and eliminate varicose veins.
Varicose Veins are Unsightly and Potentially Dangerous
When people think of vein conditions that you can see on the outside like varicose veins, they might jump to the conclusion that treatment of these veins is a mostly cosmetic procedure. While treatments like EVLA can eliminate the appearance of varicose veins, the reason this condition should be treated is more far-reaching.
Varicose veins are the result of damaged valves inside of the veins of the legs. These valves help push blood upward towards the heart, working against gravity. When these valves don’t function properly, the vein conditions you see on the surface are often the result. Varicose veins and spider veins alike are examples of conditions caused by chronic venous insufficiency.
Varicose veins especially can come along with unpleasant symptoms like pain, achiness, swelling, redness and discoloration, heaviness, itching, and numbness in the legs. If left untreated, varicose veins can have serious complications like thrombophlebitis (blood clot with inflammation of the veins), deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), skin ulcers (wounds that won’t heal), or bleeding varicose veins, all of which can be serious health threats.
Benefits of Endovenous Laser Ablation
- High success rate for vein closure, 95%-97% of procedures are successful
- Minimally invasive
- Office-based procedure
- No hospital stay
- No general anesthesia
- You can drive yourself to and from treatment
- No ‘cutting’ required
- No stitches
- No downtime, you can return to normal activities immediately
- Cause of varicose veins is addressed, eliminating symptoms and improving overall vein health
Endovenous laser ablation is an office-based outpatient treatment that takes between 30 to 45 minutes. A needle is inserted into the affected vein in a fashion that’s very similar to a blood draw. Then, a thin fiber with the laser attached is threaded through the needle into the vein using ultrasound guidance to help the doctor visualize the vein. Most patients don’t feel any discomfort from the threading of the laser. Local anesthesia is then used to numb the area around the vein and the laser. When the area is sufficiently numb, the laser is activated. Last, the laser is removed, the area is bandaged with a pressure bandage, and a compression stocking is put in place.
The laser causes scarring and fibrosis inside of the treated vein, closing the vein off so that blood no longer flows into it. After a time, the damaged vein is absorbed into the body. The body automatically reroutes the blood back to healthier veins, so the loss of varicose veins is nothing to worry about.
You can immediately return to your regular activities, though you should avoid very strenuous exercise for a week. After 24 hours, you can remove the pressure bandage and compression stocking to bathe. Because the procedure doesn’t require stitches, wound care is simple, and you can bathe as usual after the first day. You should wear the compression stocking for a few days following your procedure to help speed recovery and minimize any negative side effects.
A follow-up visit will be scheduled where your doctor will use ultrasound technology to ensure the vein is closed.
Risks of EVLA
The most common side effects of EVLA are mild bruising, swelling, and a sense of tightness or pulling in the area. Side effects are generally mild and resolve within a few days to a few weeks. Less than 1% of patients experience DVT (blood clot), and there’s a small risk of phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) or allergic reaction. On rare occasion, some patients may experience slight damage to tiny superficial sensory nerves near the treatment site, causing skin numbness that usually affects a small area and heals over time.
Your United Vein Centers doctor will discuss any additional risks that stem from your individual health with you while you’re deciding on a treatment plan and again before your treatment.
Choosing Vein Treatment at United Vein Centers
United Vein Centers are IAC-accredited vein treatment centers. At United Vein Centers, our carefully trained staff specializes in minimally invasive, office-based vein treatments. We use state-of-the-art technology and the latest medical data to treat each patient and with the individual attention they deserve. Our goal isn’t simply to address your spider or varicose veins, but to educate you and offer treatment for the underlying vein health issues that cause these conditions. With thousands of satisfied patients, the staff and doctors at United Vein Centers are committed to our patient’s health and happiness.
We strive to resolve vein conditions and improve overall health through the least invasive method possible. Your doctor will take your medical history, lifestyle factors, and your preferences into account to offer you cutting-edge vein treatment that fits your needs. With clinics scattered across the country, there’s a UVC doctor ready to help you take charge of your vein health.
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United Vein Centers is dedicated to both patient satisfaction and excellent results. With locations across the United States, we are able to reach a broad spectrum of patients. Our doctors are vein specialists and our staff is thoroughly trained and educated in all aspects of vein health.
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