Endovenous laser ablation, also known as EVLT, is a minimally invasive laser treatment used to eliminate large varicose veins. The procedure uses laser energy to seal the walls of the affected vein shut so blood can be rerouted through healthy veins nearby. EVLT is performed at Cedar Rapids Vein as an office based procedure.
How does EVLT Work?
To begin the procedure, the vein to be treated is marked on the outer leg and a local anesthetic is administered to ensure patient comfort during the procedure. A tiny incision is made to allow the insertion of a narrow catheter directly into the vein. Ultrasound imaging helps pinpoint the precise location of the affected vein.
Once the catheter is properly placed, laser energy is delivered directly into the vein. The heat from the laser seals the walls of the diseased vein. The vein is treated in sections, ensuring full closure of the vessel. EVLT usually takes less than one hour to complete, depending on the number of veins to be addressed.
What to Expect after Treatment
After the catheter is removed from the vein, the incision site is covered with a pressure bandage. No stitches are needed since the incision is so small. The patient is encouraged to get up and walk after the procedure to promote healthy blood flow to the area.
Most patients are able to return to regular activities immediately following treatment. There may be slight bruising at the incision site, which will subside on its own in 2-3 weeks. Discomfort after the procedure is relatively rare and can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Results of EVLT are apparent right away and continue to improve as the vein is eventually reabsorbed by the body. Because the affected vein is completely eliminated, EVLT is considered a permanent procedure for varicose veins. However, additional veins in the area may become varicose over time, which could require additional procedures to maintain results.
EVLT is an effective way to address even large varicose veins of the lower leg. The procedure is not painful and there is no recovery time afterward. To learn more about how EVLT can help you say goodbye to unsightly, painful varicose veins, contact Cedar Rapids Vein today.