Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT®)
This procedure is the latest treatment for varicose veins, it is the minimally invasive alternative to conventional vein surgery. It is safe, fast and effective.
A fine needle puncture is perfomed into the thigh vein (LSV) around the knee area, through this needle puncture, a laser fibre is inserted. This is performed using ultrasound guidance.
The thigh vein is called the long saphenous vein and it is this vein that has the “faulty” valves that cause varicose veins. The laser fibre is heated and damages the inner lining of the “faulty” vein, this causes the vein to collapse and close, the collapsed vein disappears over time.
This procedure is performed under sedation or regional/general anesthesia and is usually done as a day case. EVLT of a single leg usually takes less than a hour.
All patients are able to walk after the procedure and usually return to normal activity within a few days. There is no lengthy hospital stay, no scarring and minimal pain. Patients are encouraged to walk as much as possible after EVLT.
Possible complications include haematoma, bruising, numbness and phlebitis which are all not serious.
Maximum benefit can be observed after 4-6 weeks and residual varicosities can be treated either by injection sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy.
The most recent studies have shown EVLT to have good results up to a maximum of 5 years and a success rate of > 98%.
Most patients will wear elastic stockings for at least two weeks after treatment, depending on the size and extent of the vein treated.