Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
What is it?
EVLA is the treatment of varicose veins without requiring surgery. The veins are heated with the use of a laser in order to break down the walls of the veins. The dead tissue is then naturally absorbed by the body and the abnormal veins destroyed in the process.
Is EVLA treatment right for me?
EVLA is suitable for most patients regardless of the length and thickness of their veins and is carried out under local or general anaesthetic. If you are in the minority who cannot have the treatment, which is usually because of previous surgery, foam sclerotherapy is a secondary option.
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The procedure begins with an ultrasound scan of the affected areas, and the veins that need treatment will be marked. The surgeon will then inject a dose of local anaesthetic around the site of the vein. A catheter is fitted up the vein for the laser fibre to pass through so that the tip is at the highest point to be heated. A sufficient amount of local anaesthetic is injected around the area of the vein to relieve any pain. The laser is pulled down over the vein and this may be repeated on both legs depending on if it is required. Once the process is complete the laser and catheter are removed and the site will be covered with a small dressing. The whole process takes approximately 20-30 minutes per leg.
After the procedure, you may feel tightness in your legs and experience slight bruising, however these are only temporary. You will most likely be required to wear compression stockings for up to two weeks and should recover completely within that time, being able to resume normal activities.
You must not get your legs wet whilst wearing the stockings. If you feel any pain, an anti-inflammatory drug can be taken to relieve symptoms.
Most patients require at least two treatment sessions and you should see the full effect of the treatment at the 8 week mark.