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A Guide to Endovenous Laser Ablation Procedure

Close up photo of EVLA being performed on a patient.

Are you considering endovenous laser ablation as a possible treatment for your varicose veins? If so, you may have many questions and concerns about the procedure. Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is a minimally invasive medical procedure that involves using lasers to close off diseased veins to improve circulation and reduce pain caused by varicose veins.

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about EVLA—including the procedure itself, what to expect during and after EVLA, and the advantages of EVLA over traditional vein stripping.

What is EVLA?

EVLA is a cutting-edge method that combines ultrasound technology with laser therapy. By precisely targeting damaged veins and faulty valves, EVLA effectively collapses and destroys problem veins, eliminating the discomfort and cosmetic concerns associated with varicose veins.

Using ultrasound imagery, damaged veins, and faulty valves are located with precision. Next, a laser fiber delivers controlled bursts of heat energy, effectively collapsing the vein walls and sealing them shut. As a result, blood is efficiently rerouted through healthier veins, free from any valve damage. EVLA is a minimally invasive procedure with a fast healing and treatment time. It requires one small incision at the side of the vein and leaves no visible scar.

What to Expect During & After the Procedure

During the procedure, an ultrasound will be used to mark the veins to be treated on your skin. The marked area will be cleaned, and sterile drapes will be placed on your legs for hygiene purposes. Here’s what else you can expect:

  • Local anesthesia will be administered at the site, where a small catheter will be inserted into the vein
  • The laser fiber will then be inserted through this catheter
  • The entire treatment area will be numbed with additional local anesthesia
  • The laser will be activated and pulled back through the entire vein, effectively sealing it closed

While many patients experience minimal discomfort, it's not uncommon to feel some pain or swelling around the treated area in the first few days following the procedure. Your doctor will likely advise you to avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for a few weeks, but light walking and mobility are recommended to help with circulation and prevent blood clots.

You can also expect to wear compression stockings for a period following the procedure to aid in healing and recovery. Remember to communicate any concerns with your doctor and follow their post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery process.

EVLA vs. Traditional Vein Stripping

The EVLA procedure offers a minimally invasive alternative to traditional vein stripping. Rather than removing the vein entirely, EVLA uses laser energy to treat the affected area and collapse the problematic vein. This results in less pain, a quicker recovery time, and a lower risk of complications compared to traditional vein stripping surgery. While vein stripping may still be necessary for certain cases, EVLA has emerged as a preferred option for many patients seeking a more comfortable and efficient treatment for venous disease.

Vein Specialists Guided by Transparency & Integrity

Established in 2006, Albert Vein Institute has become a leading provider of varicose vein treatments in Colorado, and we are known for our exceptional standards. Our dedication to venous issues has allowed us to successfully treat thousands of patients. Dr. James D. Albert, a renowned expert in venous disease, has contributed extensively to the field with over 60 published articles in major medical journals.

If you’re tired of living with the pain and discomfort of varicose veins, contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team.