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Endovenous laser ablation is also known as an EVLA. It is the latest, minimally invasive treatment for Varcicose Veins, that has revolutionized how veins get treated today.
In the past, moderate to larger and deeper varicose veins were only removed with surgery known as “Stripping”. As many who have either had it done or known someone who has had it done, know very well, that this surgical procedure was painful and often had many complications including bleeding. Moreover, the rates of recurrence after 2 years were around 50%. That meant that after you had it treated with surgery, half of them returned after 2 years.
With an EVLA, a fine laser fiber is inserted into the abnormal vein under local anaesthetic. More anaesthetic is then injected around the vein to be treated known as tumescence anaesthesia. The laser fiber is then attached to a laser machine, that releases laser energy in the form of heat. This causes damage to the inside of the vein, causing it to collapse and breakdown. Straight after treatment, stockings are fitted and walking is advised.
This procedure is done in private rooms, without the need of general anaesthetic or admission into a hospital. Straight after treatment patients are able to get up and walk straight out of the clinic, getting back to work or other activity. This procedure is extremely safe and has very low complications compared to surgery. The closure rate for EVLA’s are up to 99.8%.
This treatment is often combined with ultrasound guided sclerotherapy and phlebectomy on a later date.
Is it painful?
As the procedure is done under local anaesthetic and tumescence anaesthesia, most patients feel very minimal to no discomfort.
Most patients may feel some discomfort for the first few days and this slowly improves. As patients walk straight out, they usually get back to regular activities very quickly. For discomfort that last longer, paracetamol or Nurofen is all that is needed.
Is it effective?
It is the most efficient and successful treatment for varicose veins, with closure rates of 99.8%. This means that the chances of the vein returning in the same region is very, very low.
No hospital admission and no downtime
No need for general anaesthetics, therefore no increased risk
No major surgery, therefore no increased risk
Rapid reduction in symptoms