As many as half of American women are affected by varicose veins – a condition in which blood pools in the veins, causing them to bulge. For some individuals, these veins are small and may improve on their own. Others, however, may experience severe or worsening varicosities that become painful and may even rupture. Fortunately, treatment is available to reduce the size of varicose veins and improve the symptoms associated with them. Endovascular laser therapy, or EVLT, is a non-surgical treatment that uses laser energy to heat the inside of the vein and closes it off to refluxing blood.
Did you know…
that varicose veins can form anywhere on the legs though they tend to develop on the insides of the legs and the backs of the calves? The exact cause of varicose veins is unknown though hormones, pregnancy, genetics and age may increase a person’s risk factor. Certain lifestyle habits may also contribute to the development of varicose veins, such as working in a job that requires long periods of standing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for EVLT treatments?
You may be a candidate for EVLT if you are affected by one or more varicose veins in your legs. Many patients select EVLT because it is minimally invasive and leaves the treated vein intact, rather than removing it. Only your doctor can determine if EVLT is right for you, so contact our office to schedule a consultation or request more information.
What should I expect during endovascular laser treatment?
You will be awake during your EVLT procedure. You will lie on a table, and a local anesthetic will be applied to the treatment area. Once the skin is numbed and cleansed, your doctor will make a tiny incision through which a catheter will be placed into the affected vein. A thin laser fiber will be inserted through the catheter, which your doctor will use to heat and ablate the vein. Once the laser is removed, your leg will be cleansed and a dressing applied to the incision site. Most patients can return home the same day, requiring only 1 or 2 hours of total office time.
Will I need to follow any special instructions following my procedure?
It is normal to experience some bruising at the treatment site following EVLT. Your doctor will provide you with special compression hose and instructions to wear them for several days following the procedure. You may be instructed to avoid driving for the first several hours after undergoing EVLT. Most patients experience a short recovery time with no scarring. Results may continue to improve for up to 8 weeks following the procedure, at which time you may speak with your doctor about additional treatment options if necessary.