Endovenous laser ablation - EVLA
How is it done?
Using an ultrasound to identify the vein, a fine tube is passed up the vein. Anaesthetic injections are given along the line of the vein, before a laser fibre is inserted inside the tube in the vein. This is then pulled-back, sealing the vein from top to bottom.
Do I need an anaesthetic?
It is almost always possible to perform this treatment under local anaesthetic. In some cases it may be preferable to use general anaesthesia if there are extensive varicose veins, which can be removed at the same time.
How does it work?
The main varicose veins are sealed by infrared heat delivered by passing a laser fibre inside the vein.
Is it painful?
Local anaesthetic injections along the length of the vein to be treated can be uncomfortable, but the laser treatment itself is normally painless.
How long does it take?
The procedure normally takes 20-40 minutes. It is a walk-in, walk-out treatment. You would normally be ready to leave after an hour or two.
What is the recovery time?
Normal day-to-day activity can be resumed the following day. Vigorous exercise, should as gym workouts, riding or cycling should be avoided for the first week.
Will I need further treatment?
The laser treatment does not normally need to be repeated. In many patients no further treatment is required. When the veins are extensive these can often be treated by removing them at the same time, or treated in the clinic later with injection sclerotherapy.
Will my veins come back?
The veins treated will not normally come back. New varicose veins can develop over time. This is quite variable and may affect some people more than others.
What are the risks?
EVLA is a very safe procedure. The risks of this treatment include bruising, discomfort, pins and needles. Rare complications include thread vein formation or pigmentation. Very rare complications could include deep vein thrombosis, infection or phlebitis.