Endovenous Laser Ablation for Varicose Veins
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLT for endovenous laser treatment) is a minimally invasive procedure performed in our office for the treatment of varicose veins. During the procedure, Dr. Ashpole will insert a laser fiber through the skin directly into the varicose vein. The laser heats the lining within the vein, damaging it and causing the vein to collapse, shrink and eventually disappear. Because the veins being treated are superficial, they’re not necessary for the transfer of blood to the heart.
Explanation of the procedure
Dr. Ashpole performs EVLT in our office, and during the procedure he will:
- Numb the treatment area with a topical anesthetic.
- Insert an 810 nm diode laser fiber into the vein being treated.
- Identify the laser with ultrasound to verify its position.
- Slowly heat the laser so that the laser energy damages the vein walls causing them to shrink and eventually leading to closure of the vein.
The procedure is relatively painless and takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Once the vein is treated, the probe is removed and a small dressing applied. A compression bandage is applied and normally worn for one week.
If you have smaller veins needing treatment, this is done using sclerotherapy. We use the most recent FDA-approved medicines to inject a chemical into the veins to close them to minimize or eliminate their appearance.
Is losing a vein a problem?
Any vein removed during the procedure is not a healthy vein and could potentially be detrimental to your health. Removing a vein that is engorged and thrombosed has no adverse effect on your body. The healthy veins in your legs are not touched, and they continue to carry blood away to the heart.
Recovery after EVLT
The procedure is performed in-office using only local anesthesia. This means that you can drive yourself to and from our office and resume your normal activities after the procedure.
The procedure leaves no scars, and any minor soreness or bruising can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
You should return to our office in a week for a follow-up appointment to evaluate the success and progress of the procedure.
If you are a symptomatic patient, the procedure will probably be covered by private insurance or Medicare. For assistance, do not hesitate to call us at 847-884-8346 to discuss the costs and insurance requirements associated with endovenous laser ablation.