Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
During an EVLT, a local anesthetic is used to make a numb spot at the skins surface and an IV is started in the incompetent vein.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is an innovative method of treating varicose veins mastered by the Vein Institute of Pinellas (VIP). Instead of surgery, the incompetent vein is tied and dissolved using optical fiber and laser light.
Being minimally invasive, you can go back with most of your normal activities after the procedure. This is why EVLT is preferred by celebrities, athletes, and those with hectic lifestyles.
What Is EVLT?
EVLT is a revolutionary treatment for varicose veins because it doesn’t involve surgery. Instead of opening the area to tie and remove the inefficient vein, it is heated by a specific type of laser.
The heat from the laser disintegrates the walls of the vein until the vein becomes a dead tissue. It is then naturally absorbed by the body and the blood is re-directed to a normal vein.
Vein Institute of Pinellas has a sophisticated treatment room specially constructed for non-invasive varicose vein treatment.
Which Veins Are Suitable for EVLT?
Patients who are suffering from vein disease symptoms including pain, cramps, heaviness, swelling, skin discoloration, restless legs, and leg heaviness are good candidates for EVLT. However, you still have to undergo a comprehensive examination by vein experts of Vein Institute of Pinellas.
What Is Involved in EVLT?
An ultrasound scan will be requested to identify the exact location of the inefficient vein. You will be asked to lie down and your leg (or any affected limb) will be cleaned and covered in drapes. The vein will be marked by a pen.
Depending on the location of the vein that needs to be destroyed, you may have on be on your front or back. All of these are assisted by ultrasound scanning.
Endovenous means inside the vein, so the next thing the doctor has to do is to get inside your vein. A small amount of local anesthetic is injected into the skin over the vein and a needle inserted into it. A wire is passed through the needle and up the vein. The needle is removed and a catheter (thin plastic tubing) is passed over the wire, up the vein and the wire removed. A small amount of fluid is delivered around the vein to isolate it and to protect other tissues.
The doctor will access the interior of your vein (endo= inside, venous=vein). A relatively small dose of local anesthesia will be injected into the skin that covers the vein. Afterwards, a needle is inserted into the vein and a wire is passed through it. The needle will then be removed and a thin plastic tube (catheter) is delivered through the wire to the vein, and the wire will be slowly removed.
A very thin laser fiber is inserted into the catheter until its tip is at the highest point of the vein to be destroyed. At this point, you will receive a larger dose of local anesthesia through multiple injections. For EVLT to be successful, it has be performed with extreme precision—a skill that is common in Vein Institute of Pinellas.
As a precaution, the patient and the staff have to wear laser safety specs. The vein specialist will let you know if the laser is about to be fired up. As the laser fiber is pulled down your vein, it is normal to taste or smell something burning, but this is without pain.
A warning buzzer will also be heard until the procedure is over, which usually takes only 20-30 minutes per affected area. If both legs needs treatment, the process is just repeated. The needle puncture will be covered with a sterile dressing right after the catheter and laser are removed.
Are Your Veins Suitable for EVLT?
Almost all varicose vein sufferers are candidates to undergo EVLT. However, patients with recurrent small vein problems after surgery may not be suitable and are usually managed through foam sclerotherapy.
What happens after Endovenous Laser Treatment? How Do You Recover?
You may go home after the treatment. But the Vein Institute of advises its patients to stay for a while in our comfortable and spacious lounge to relax before going home.
It is not advisable to drive so you may have to arrange for a ride to take you home.
For the next two weeks, you will be asked to wear specialized stockings. Our vein doctor will also give instructions on how to properly bath while on recovery. Do not worry because you can proceed with most of your normal activities right after EVLT, except those that would stress the affected area or involves heavy machinery.
Within those two weeks, it’s important not to get the treated leg(s) wet.
You might feel a mild tightening sensation and some pain along the length of the treated vein. To relieve it, we prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs.
Are All Vein Lasers the Same?
Most types of lasers used for Endovenous Laser Treatment are virtually identical. Although some types have been reported to be less painful than others. However, the degree of pain for all types of EVLT lasers is particularly minimal.
The vein specialists at Vein Institute of Pinellas can discuss EVLT with you in detail to put you at ease, which is also crucial in the success of the procedure.
Any question that you have regarding EVLT can be answered clearly and comprehensively.
Will You Need Further Treatment?
Symptoms are usually relived without further treatment. Varicose veins normally become less noticeable after EVLT. In rare cases, they completely disappear. If you wish to improve the appearance of your veins, this may require another session.
Varicosities that require further treatment are either dealt using foam sclerotherapy or avulsion. You may undergo any of these treatments during the EVLT or 4 to 6 weeks after it. This will be evaluated thoroughly by one of the vein experts at Vein Institute of Pinellas.
Avulsion is carried out after the area around the vein has been injected with local anesthetic. Small incisions will be made over the affected vein and it will be slowly removed using a crochet hook. The incisions don’t require stitches and they heal quickly with very minimal scarring.
The most common method used to deal with residual varicose veins after Endovenous Vein Laser Therapy. This highly-effective, minimally-invasive technique involves injecting a substance into the abnormal vein to close it. Blood is then rerouted to a normal vein and the abnormal vein simply dissolves over time.
Are there EVLT Complications?
Serious complications post EVLT are extremely rare, especially if you received the treatment from Vein Institute of Pinellas. This is because we meticulously review each case in order to determine the best treatment and to help the patient experience the least post-EVLT discomforts.
During EVLA, the inefficient vein is heated and the normal response of the tissues to the heat is inflammation. This is why the treated vein may become harder. Varicose veins that are connected to the treated vein may also become lumpy as blood clots form within them. These clots are not dangerous and will naturally be absorbed by the body over time.
Nerves near the treated vein may also sustain damage from the heat of the laser. You might experience numbness on small areas after the procedure, but this usually goes away after several weeks.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
This is the formation of the blood clot in a vein in the deeper tissues of the legs. It is a common complication following any surgery but the risk of DVT post-EVLT is very minimal.
If you have existing DVT, you may also get it treated at Vein Institute of Pinellas. DVT can cause serious complications if they detach from the blood vessel and migrate to other parts of the body.
Is EVLT Right For Me?
Patients with varicosities are often confused as to which treatment to choose. Due to varying options, from surgical to non-surgical, this is not surprising.
It will primary depend on your case and general health condition. A vascular specialist from Vein Institute of Pinellas will review your medical history, varicose problem, and current lifestyle to weigh the benefits and drawbacks.
While most varicose veins do not require medical attention, they can be unpleasant to the eyes. Whether it is cosmetic, medical or both, it is important to seek vascular treatment from a facility that has a proven track record, such as the Vein Institute of Pinellas.