What is Endovenous Laser Ablation?
Endovenous laser ablation (also called EVLA or EVLT) is a minimally-invasive approach to the treatment of varicose or incompetent veins that uses tiny probes to deliver focused laser energy to the inside of the vein, causing it to close off to the flow of blood and eventually shrivel and be absorbed by the body over time. The probes access the inside of the veins through tiny incisions made in the skin overlying the varicose veins or with a catheter, and the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.
Once the skin in the treatment area is cleansed, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area. Tiny incisions are made over the vein to enable the tiny probe to be inserted or a catheter with a laser mounted on the tip is fed intravenously to the incompetent vein. Once the probe is properly positioned, tiny bursts of laser energy are fired off, targeting the walls along the length of the vein causing them to collapse and seal off to the flow of blood. When the damaged vein is closed, blood will be naturally re-routed to neighboring veins so circulation is not affected.
Once the procedure is complete, a special bandage will be placed over the incisions and compression socks or hose will be provided to help promote healing and maintain optimal circulation. Patients will be allowed to return home soon after their procedures and can resume most of their normal activities. Strenuous activities like heavy lifting should be avoided for a few days to a couple of weeks to enable the area to heal sufficiently. Complete instructions will be provided following treatment.
EVLA can be a great choice for many patients, offering long-lasting results without the need for more invasive vein stripping procedures. Before a treatment takes place, Dr. Suri will complete a thorough evaluation to ensure the best procedure is selected to achieve optimal results.