Endovenous Laser Ablation
Endovenous laser ablation was pioneered in 2003 as an alternative to vascular surgeries, such as vein ligation, venous bypass surgery, and vein stripping. Until then, surgery was the preferred treatment for vein problems, such as varicose veins and vein disease.
What is Endovenous Laser Ablation?
Endovenous laser ablation is one of the most effective treatments for chronic venous insufficiency, the circulatory disorder responsible for spider veins and varicose veins. This is an in-office and outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia, and it usually concludes within 30 to 45 minutes.
During endovenous laser ablation, the vein doctor makes a small incision on the skin’s surface to insert an endovenous laser. The laser fiber is driven into the diseased saphenous vein under ultrasound guidance. Once the laser fiber is lodged in place, the vein doctor surrounds the vein with tumescent anesthesia to ensure comfort. Finally, the endovenous laser is activated to deliver laser energy to the vein’s walls, which generates an inflammatory reaction that makes the vein seal shut. Over time, the diseased vein is reabsorbed by the body, allowing you to resume your daily activities.
After endovenous laser ablation, the accumulated blood flows freely into healthier leg veins, restoring optimal blood circulation to the heart. Your leg is wrapped in an ACE bandage for 2 days and you have to wear compression stockings for 7 days. This procedure has a success rate exceeding 90%.
How is EVLT Performed?
Your endovenous laser ablation procedure starts with a consultation with your vein doctor in New Jersey. Your vein doctor will examine your leg veins, review your medical history, and perform duplex ultrasound tests to determine if you’re a viable candidate for this procedure. The vein doctor will also answer all your questions and provide preparatory guidelines. On the day of the procedure, you’ll have to avoid caffeine and stay hydrated.
During the endovenous laser ablation, your vein doctor will numb a small part of the inside of your leg. After numbing your skin, the vein doctor will make a small incision and insert a hollow needle into the vein under ultrasound guidance. A wire will be threaded through the hollow needle, a sheath will be placed over the wire, and the laser fiber will be driven into the diseased vein. Once the endovenous laser is in place, the vein doctor will inject tumescent anesthesia and deliver laser energy into the diseased vein’s walls. This will generate an inflammatory reaction to make the vein seal shut and get reabsorbed by the body.
What are the Side Effects of Endovenous Laser Ablation?
The EVLT procedure usually lasts for 30 to 60 minutes per vein. However, you should arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment.
The following are some of the potential side effects of endovenous laser ablation:
- Common Side Effects: Bruising, temporary soreness, and mild stiffness
- Rare Side Effects: Recurrent vein disease and temporary numbness
- Very Rare Side Effects: Infections and deep vein thrombosis
Endovenous laser ablation is one of the safest procedures with a nearly perfect success rate, but all treatments involve some risks. Most of the side effects of endovenous laser ablation can be avoided if you contact an experienced vein doctor in New Jersey.
What are the Pros & Cons of Endovenous Laser Ablation?
Pros of EVLT
- Minimal discomfort during the procedure
- Negligible risk of complications
- No risk of skin discoloration
- Concludes within an hour
- Immediate resumption of daily activities
- No unsightly scars
Cons of EVLT
- No strenuous workouts for a week
- More post-treatment discomfort than radiofrequency ablation
- Performed using needles
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