What Is EVLT, and Is It Right for Me?

Varicose Laser Treatment On Female Legs

Table of Contents

  • What Are Varicose Veins?
  • What Is EVLT?
  • Possible Complications
  • What Are the Pros and Cons of Undergoing EVLT?
  • Looking for a Vein Specialist for an EVLT Consultation?

When it comes to treating varicose veins, there isn’t just one form of treatment. 

Treatment options available include:

  • Cyanoacrylate
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
  • Endovenous Mechanochemical Ablation (MOCA) 
  • Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
  • Microfoam Injection
  • Phlebectomy

EVLA — also called endovenous laser treatment or EVLT vein treatment — is one of the most popular methods. Read on to find out whether to not it might be the right treatment for you. 

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are the result of a common condition in which vein walls become weakened or damaged. When this happens, blood can begin to pool or sometimes flow backward. The latter is also called reflux. As a result, the veins become swollen and distended. 

Although the precise cause of varicose veins is largely unknown, they may be caused by an increase in blood pressure inside your veins. This can be caused by any of the following:

  • Aging
  • Long periods of standing
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy and hormones
  • Genetics
Signs and Symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with varicose veins, including: 

  • A feeling of heaviness or tiredness in the legs, especially after periods of physical activity 
  • Itching in the area around certain veins
  • Swelling and throbbing of the legs, ankles, or feet
  • Twisted or bulging veins below the surface of the skin on the legs, ankles, and feet — often blue or purple
  • Ulcers or skin discolorations
Diagnosis

To diagnose varicose veins, determine the best course of treatment — possibly EVLT — and check for any complications, a vein specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as an ultrasound. 

What Is EVLT?

During EVLT, the heat from a laser is sent into the varicose vein through a narrow tube — called a catheter — which closes off blood flow to and from the vein. 

Many vein specialists now use the new VenaCure 1470-nm laser, which treats varicose veins with maximal energy efficiency and minimal postoperative pain and bruising. It also virtually eliminates the risk of direct contact between the vein wall and the laser fiber. 

Endovenous Laser Treatment Procedure

Although the actual treatment takes less than an hour, the entire EVLT procedure process typically lasts one to two hours and involves the following steps:

  1. After lying down on a bed, an imaging method —  called an ultrasound — is used to guide the process.
  2. Numbing medication is injected into the affected area.
  3. The specialist makes a tiny puncture into the vein with a needle.
  4. The catheter containing the laser is placed into your vein. 
  5. Once it’s in the correct position, the catheter is drawn out as it sends out heat and closes off the affected vein.
  6. In some cases, nearby veins may need to be tied off or removed using other vein treatment methods.
  7. The catheter is removed, and pressure is applied to the site to halt any bleeding.

You may be asked to put on a gradient compression sock afterward for up to two weeks.

Optimal Recovery

When you return home after the procedure, you will need to follow your physician’s directions to maximize your recovery time. 

Apart from taking all medications and caring for the site of insertion as directed, as well as watching for any signs of infection, recovery usually involves taking the following measures:

  • Avoiding air travel
  • Avoiding heavy lifting or long periods of standing
  • Avoiding sitting in saunas or hot baths
  • Keeping your legs elevated 
  • Walking several times a day
  • Wearing gradient compression socks if they’re recommended 

Possible Complications

As with any procedure, there are minimal and rare risks associated with EVLT. They include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Skin irritation

What Are the Pros and Cons of Undergoing EVLT?

There are also upsides and downsides to every procedure. It’s important to look at these factors before making a final decision about your care. 

Here are the pros:

  • Can treat multiple veins in one session
  • Leaves virtually no scars
  • Minimally invasive compared to surgery
  • Quick in-and-out procedure
  • Short recovery time

Here are the cons, along with EVLT’s side effects and risks:

  • Can cause perforation in the vein wall and increase bruising and soreness
  • Multiple injections of local anesthesia are needed 
  • Requires a laser-proof room and protective glasses for staff

Looking for a Vein Specialist for an EVLT Consultation?

The only way to get a personalized recommendation for varicose vein treatment is by consulting with a specialist and getting an ultrasound examination. If the EVLT procedure for varicose veins seems like it might be right for you, the next step is to find vein specialists in your area to get more specific information, ask any lingering questions, and schedule a visit. 

This is where we come in — My Vein Treatment is here to help with these crucial next steps. By using our Vein Specialist Locator Tool, you can find qualified healthcare professionals near you. Once you have a list of results, you’ll be able to inquire about each office’s specific process and pricing structures for EVLT. We want you to have as much information as possible throughout this journey.

Find a vein specialist