What is an endovenous laser treatment?
Endovenous laser treatment, sometimes referred to as EVLT, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses catheters, lasers, and an ultrasound to treat varicose veins.
Varicose veins occur when a superficial vein becomes swollen, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Weak or damaged valves are often the cause of varicose veins. If these valves are unable to regulate the flow, the blood begins to cluster. This results in the stretched and disfigured mounds beneath the skin known as varicose veins.
What happens during endovenous laser treatment?
During the EVLT procedure, an interventional radiologist will insert a catheter into the varicose vein. The doctor will then guide the catheter through the vein, using an ultrasound to see inside the patient. A laser positioned at the end of the catheter heats the varicose vein walls, which closes it. As the body begins to recover from the procedure, the blood circulation becomes more efficient since it is no longer flowing through the faulty varicose vein.
What are the benefits of endovenous laser treatment?
Though not everyone is a candidate for EVLT, those who do qualify often prefer it over other surgical treatments for the following reasons:
- The recurrence rate of varicose veins is lower with EVLT.
- The complication rate is lower with EVLT.
- There is no general anesthesia needed to perform EVLT.
- EVLT is less painful.
- EVLT is an outpatient procedure with virtually no recovery period necessary.
- There is minimal to no scarring with EVLT.
What are the risks of endovenous laser treatment?
EVLT is a safe and minimally invasive procedure. However, with any medical treatment, there are potential risks. Risks and side effects can include infection, swelling, redness, bruising, burns, and blood clots. To reduce the chance of adverse effects associated with the procedure, it is essential to follow all instructions provided by the Baptist Health staff before, during, and after your treatment.
EVLT is a great option if you are considering treatment for varicose veins. Talk with your doctor to learn more about what treatment options are available and which one may be right for you. If you are suffering from leg discomfort or have questions about varicose veins, call the Baptist Health Vein Center to schedule a free screening.