What is Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT)?

Endovenous laser ablation is one of the most effective, minimally invasive treatments for chronic venous insufficiency, the root cause of spider veins, varicose veins, and most other vein problems. During the endovenous laser ablation procedure, the vein doctor uses laser energy channeled via a catheter to destroy the diseased vein responsible for all vein problems, rerouting the accumulated blood into healthier leg veins. The procedure usually concludes within 45 minutes and doesn’t involve any downtime.

Is EVLT safe and effective?

Endovenous laser ablation is one of the safest and most effective procedures, with a nearly perfect success rate exceeding 90%. It’s fair to say that EVLT transformed the landscape in vein care. Before endovenous laser ablation was developed as a treatment option in 2003, vein doctors could only treat vein disease and varicose veins using surgical techniques that involved multiple excisions, hospitalization, downtime, and a relatively high risk of infections and deep vein thrombosis.

Endovenous laser ablation revolutionized vein care, paving the way for a wide range of minimally invasive vein treatment options involving only a small incision on the skin’s surface or a few injections. Endovenous laser ablation is performed under local anesthesia and only involves one small incision, which has a negligible risk of infections and other complications. Long-term data also shows that endovenous laser ablation has a far lower risk of recurrent vein disease than surgeries.

How does Endovenous Laser Ablation work??

To understand how endovenous laser ablation works, you must understand chronic venous insufficiency, the circulatory disorder responsible for most vein problems. Healthy veins contain vein valves that facilitate one-way blood circulation to the heart against the force of gravity. When your vein valves collapse, blood flows backward and accumulates in the leg veins, eventually leading to vascular dilation and the formation of spider veins and varicose veins.

Endovenous laser ablation is an in-office performed under local anesthesia. The vein doctor makes a small incision on the skin’s surface to insert a specialized catheter into the diseased vein under ultrasound guidance. The catheter has a laser fiber and wire passed along the sheath on top of the diseased vein. Once the catheter is in place, the vein doctor delivers tumescent anesthesia to protect the surrounding tissues from laser energy.

Finally, the vein doctor activates the endovenous laser device to generate laser energy, thus destroying the diseased vein. The laser fiber induces an inflammatory reaction from the diseased vein, which eventually scars down and gets reabsorbed by the body. The accumulated blood reroutes into healthier leg veins, thus restoring optimal blood circulation to the heart. As such, EVLT addresses the root cause of vein problems — not just the symptoms.

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.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of EVLT?

Pros of EVLT:

  • Minimal post-treatment pain and discomfort
  • No risk of skin discoloration and darkening
  • Concludes within an hour
  • No post-treatment downtime

Cons of EVLT:

  • Must avoid strenuous workouts for a week
  • More post-treatment discomfort than radiofrequency ablation
  • Involves using needles
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