Laser Therapy (EVLT)

What Is an EVLT Procedure?

EVLT (also called endovenous laser therapy, EVLA, and endovenous laser ablation), is an outpatient procedure that treats vein disease and unhealthy veins with thermal energy. The purpose of EVLT is to close damaged veins and reroute blood into functional veins. Circulation improves immediately after treatment with EVLT. This highly effective procedure has a 90% success rate and is completed in just 30-45 minutes. 

Our vein doctors perform this minimally invasive treatment in our office with local anesthesia. We locate the problematic vein with ultrasound technology and numb a small area on your skin. With ultrasound guidance, we insert a needle that delivers anesthetic fluid to surround the vein and protect adjacent tissue. Our physicians then administer laser energy inside of the vein, which causes inflammation, and ultimately, closure of the vein. Blood begins flowing into viable veins, and the sealed vein is reabsorbed by the body. Patients wear an ACE bandage for 48 hours and a compression stocking for a week after treatment. But they can resume normal activities immediately. 

 

Is EVLT Effective?

Prior to the introduction of EVLT, surgery was the only option for patients with significant vein issues. In vein surgery (also called stripping or ligation), surgeons tie the vein off and remove it from the body. This requires multiple deep incisions and extensive recovery time, not to mention, serious risks and complications. It’s not uncommon for surgical patients to develop infections, blood clots, or internal bleeding, in addition to anesthetic complications and significant scarring. EVLT arrived in 2003 as a safer, less invasive option that took a fraction of the time and eliminated surgical risks and downtime. EVLT was the first successful alternative to vein stripping, that also prevents recurrent vein disease better than surgery. . 

 

How Do Endovenous Lasers Work?

An EVLT procedure takes 30-60 minutes for each vein. Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to prep for the treatment.

Our doctors place you in a comfortable supine position and clean the treatment area on your skin. We then numb the entry point on the inside of your leg and insert a small needle into the affected vein. 

The needle is hollow so our doctors can thread a laser wire through it, with ultrasound guidance. We position the laser fiber at the top of your vein, and then inject a fluid that numbs and protects the surrounding tissue. We then activate the laser inside the vein to heat the venous walls, causing inflammation and ablation. The vein becomes scar tissue, which is harmlessly absorbed by the body over time. 

It’s important for a qualified vein doctor to determine whether you’re a good candidate for EVLT and to perform the procedure. Our NY vein treatment specialists will answer any questions you have and explain the procedure in detail. 

On the day of EVLT, you’ll need to hydrate and refrain from caffeine. Otherwise, there is no preparation or recovery time involved.

What Side Effects Are Possible With EVLT?

With our experienced NY vein treatment doctors, most side effects of EVLT are avoidable.

Possible side effects of EVLT:

  • Common: Brief soreness
  • Common: Mild stiffness or bruising
  • Rare: Recurrent varicosities
  • Rare: Temporary numb sensation
  • Rare: DVT (deep vein thrombosis)
  • Extremely Rare: Infection

 

What would happen if I let my varicose veins go untreated, or if I seek treatment from an unreputable clinic? Highly trained varicose vein doctors in NYC talk about five risks of not seeking treatment for varicose veins or getting treated in the wrong place.

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