Varicose veins are a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. They are enlarged, twisted, and often painful veins. Varicose veins can occur anywhere in the body but are most commonly found in the legs. This article will discuss Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), a safe and effective treatment for varicose veins.
How Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) Works
EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser energy to close off varicose veins. During the procedure, a small laser fiber is inserted into the affected vein under local anesthesia. Then, the laser energy heats and seals the vein shut, redirecting blood flow to healthy veins.
Before the procedure, a pre-operative evaluation is conducted to ensure the patient is a good candidate for EVLT. This evaluation may include a:
- Physical examination
- Medical history review
Visit a varicose veins clinic in El Paso to know if you are a good candidate for EVLT.
What to Expect During the EVLT Procedure
Before the EVLT procedure, the patient is advised to avoid blood-thinning medications and to wear loose-fitting clothing. The area to be treated is then cleaned and numbed with a local anesthetic. A small incision is made, and a thin laser fiber is inserted into the affected vein.
The laser energy is then used to heat and seal the vein shut. The procedure typically takes 45-60 minutes, depending on the size and complexity of the vein. After the treatment, the patient may experience some discomfort. However, symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Post-procedure recovery typically involves:
- Wearing compression stockings
- Avoiding strenuous exercise
- Avoid sun exposure
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
Follow-up care is also important to monitor the patient’s progress and ensure no complications.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Endovenous Laser Therapy?
Not all patients are good candidates for EVLT. Factors that may disqualify a patient from the procedure include:
- Active infection
- Certain medical conditions
- Patients with large, complex varicose veins
Alternative treatments for varicose veins include:
- Compression stockings
- Traditional surgery
However, EVLT is often the preferred treatment option due to its effectiveness and less invasive nature.
Benefits of EVLT
The benefits of EVLT are many; some of them are:
- Minimally invasive procedure. EVLT requires only local anesthesia, and it is a non-surgical procedure. Patients can typically resume normal activities within a few days of the treatment.
- Reduced risk of complications. As this procedure is minimally invasive, there is less trauma to the surrounding tissues. This can help reduce the risk of complications like infection.
- Improved appearance. By closing off the affected vein, EVLT can help reduce the appearance of bulging veins. This can improve the cosmetic appearance of the legs.
- Minimal scarring. EVLT is a non-surgical procedure, meaning no incisions or stitches are required.
Risks and complications
Like all medical procedures, there are risks and potential complications associated with EVLT. Minor side effects typically resolve within a few days and can include:
Rare but possible complications include:
- Nerve injury
- Blood clots
However, these complications are uncommon and can be minimized with proper care. To reduce these risks, follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions provided by the healthcare provider.
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is a safe and effective treatment option for varicose veins. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in an office setting under local anesthesia. While there are risks associated with the procedure, the benefits of EVLT outweigh the risks for many patients. As with any medical treatment, it is important to evaluate the patient’s candidacy carefully. A vein specialist can provide appropriate pre-operative and post-operative care.