Varicose Vein Treatments

Endovascular laser venous treatment (ELVT), or endovenous ablation, is a relatively new, minimally invasive, painless procedure that has shown excellent results. With a 98 percent success rate, the long-term results of EVLT are equal to or better than results for surgery (such as vein stripping), sclerotherapy, and radiofrequency ablation. EVLT causes little-to-no post-procedure pain and leaves no scarring. This procedure is most effective for large veins that are relatively straight.

How do I get ready for the procedure?

On the night before the procedure eat a light meal, then do not eat or drink anything after midnight. We will provide you with more detailed information about which medications you may take in days before and on the morning of the procedure. Plan to have someone accompany you home after the procedure.

What will happen during the procedure?

We perform EVLT in our interventional radiology suite. Before the procedure we will apply a local anesthetic to the area of the leg we are treating. Using ultrasound guidance, we will then insert a tiny fiber-optic probe into the varicose vein through a catheter. This probe transmits laser energy to the affected vein. The laser energy kills the diseased tissue in the varicose vein, causing the vein to close and eventually be reabsorbed by the body. Once we have treated the entire vein we will remove the probe. The procedure usually takes between 45 minutes to one hour.

Are there any risks?

Complications from ELVT are extremely rare. If complications occur, they may include skin burns or pigment change.

After the procedure

EVLT is quick, and most patients resume normal daily activities immediately after the procedure. We are likely to recommend that you wear compression stockings for about a week after treatment. You may experience slight bruising a few days following EVLT.