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Could EVLT Be Right For You?

If you suffer from varicose veins, you may have heard about Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT). Also often referred to as Endovenous Laser Therapy or even Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), EVLT is quickly becoming the “gold standard” treatment for varicose veins. How does EVLT work? EVLT is minimally-invasive and virtually painless. Performed by a VIA Vein Center specialist, the procedure begins with a local anesthetic applied to the skin. A small, thin catheter is then inserted into the skin and an even thinner fiberoptic laser probe is inserted into the varicose vein. Your physician will most likely use ultrasound to guide the laser to a precise location within the vein. Laser energy is applied to vein and the heat from the laser causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. Over time, the treated vein will break up and is absorbed by surrounding tissue. The blood supply previously served by that vein is rerouted through nearby healthy veins. The EVLT procedure usually only takes about an hour and the only real discomfort is from the injection of the anesthetic. Who should have EVLT? EVLT is often used to treat large, bulging veins in the legs both above and below the knee. Saphenous veins, which are some of the larger, deeper veins in the leg, are especially responsive to EVLT. The treatment is also used to help relieve varicose vein symptoms such as uclers, swelling and achiness. While many people with large varicose veins are good candidates for EVLT, there are some circumstances in which EVLT would not be appropriate. For instance, if a vein is too twisted or too small for the EVLT catheter to enter, then an alternative treatment would be used. Always consult with your doctor to ensure EVLT is the best option for your individual case. What are the benefits of EVLT? Besides being minimally invasive and virtually pain-free, EVLT requires no surgical incision and generally leaves no scars. Success rates are extremely high – up to 97 percent – and recovery time is minimal. Most patients return to normal activity immediately, however, wearing compression stockings is highly recommended to help speed the healing process. What’s more, when vein surgery is shown to be medically necessary, in most cases the cost of EVLT is covered by medical insurance. Are there any risks? When EVLT is performed by a VIA Vein Center specialist, there are very few risks. The procedure itself has an extremely low complication rate though some temporary tenderness and bruising is normal. In exceptionally rare cases, a blot clot may form. However, your physician can easily perform an ultrasound a day or two after the EVLT to ensure no clots have formed. Because of the many benefits and relatively low risks, EVLT just might be right for you.

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