Treatment options for Varicose Veins: Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)

EVLT has become the modern gold standard method of treating the main veins that lead to the development of varicose veins. It has completely replaced the old-fashioned and less effective surgical procedures like vein stripping. Unlike surgical stripping it is quick and easy to perform under local anaesthetic and does not require admission to hospital or general anaesthesia.

Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is

Quick: Procedures generally last between 30 and 45 minutes.
Convenient: Prolonged hospital admissions are not required and normal activity can commence right away.
Effective: Treatment success rates exceed 95% with almost immediate symptom relief.
Invisible: Surgical incisions were not required.

EVLT Treatment Sessions

All EVLT treatments are performed as a walk-in walkout day case procedure. Using ultrasound guidance, a small cannula is placed in the target vein and a thin laser fibre is slid up the inside of the vein. The vein is numbed with a few local anaesthetic injections and the laser gently heats the wall destroying the vein. Any visible varicose veins are treated with foam injections, and this is usually performed at the same time. Normal activity can be resumed immediately after treatment. Patients are advised to wear compression stockings for 1 to 2 weeks and to keep mobile during that period.

What veins can be treated with EVLT?

Laser energy is used to heat the walls of the veins getting treated and so EVLT cannot be used in varicose veins close to the skin. Also, veins need to be straight to allow the laser fibre to slide along the inside. So, EVLT is used to deal with the main veins deeper in the leg that are causing the visible varicose veins to appear. Treating these main veins is normally enough to improve symptoms and protect against complications for the vast majority of patients. However, to ensure a good cosmetic outcome, varicose can also be injected with foam sclerotherapy. For the vast majority of patients a combination of EVLT and foam sclerotherapy is used to deliver the optimum final result.

What veins cannot be treated with EVLT?

Veins that lie close to the skin or veins that are tortuous are not suitable for EVLT. In this case foam sclerotherapy is used to treat both the superficial visible veins and the main trunks that have led to their development. No one should be getting treated with an outdated surgical stripping procedure in the modern era.

Is EVLT better than Radiofrequency Ablation?

The short answer is no. However, EVLT is the preferred option of serious veins practitioners across the globe. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is simpler and tends to be preferred by low volume units or practitioners. A simple analogy is with photography; modern camera phones take excellent pictures but almost all professional photographers use the more complex SLR cameras. EVLT is like the more complex cameras offering a selection of laser fibers and adjustable settings that allow experienced practitioners to fine tune the final treatment being delivered. If your specialist is unable to perform EVLT it is likely that they are not able to offer a complete range of treatment options or deliver the most up-to-date therapies for varicose veins that are available.

How can I make an appointment?

You can make and inquiry through the website, send an email to [email protected] or book in directly at one of the clinics. New consultation slots are available every week.

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