Endovenous Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins
Suffering from varicose veins? They can be a painful and unsightly condition that affects around 25% of adults in the U.S. Fortunately, many treatments are available, including Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLTTM). Let’s explore EVLT, how it works, and the benefits it offers you if you or someone you know is suffering from varicose veins.
What Are Varicose Veins?
“Varicose” means dilated, enlarged and often painful veins. They are swollen, twisted veins that can be seen just under the surface of the skin. They can cause discomfort and pain and even lead to more severe health problems. They may cause you to feel uncomfortable with the look of your legs, cause you pain and discomfort, or indicate existing serious underlying health problems.
If you have varicose veins, you will usually have the appearance of ropy bulging veins close to the surface of your skin. You might experience leg symptoms such as aching or heaviness, throbbing or cramping, itching or bleeding, tenderness, painful “cords” with hardening of your veins, skin discoloration, and possibly ulcerations, which often indicate a more severe vascular problem.
If varicose veins have caused you to suffer prolonged emotional or physical harm, you may no longer feel able to ignore the issue. However, you may have also heard that varicose vein treatments usually involve surgery and can lead to pain and scarring. These fears may have prevented you from exploring medical options. Varicose vein treatments, however, have improved significantly in recent years.
One of the most significant advances in varicose vein treatment is EVLT, which has become the standard in vein care for several reasons. EVLT is a quickly performed and minimally invasive outpatient procedure that offers patients little to no downtime and a success rate of over 95%, according to clinical studies.
The Seriousness of Untreated Varicose Veins
Suppose you have suffered from varicose veins even for a short time. In that case, you are probably not very happy with the look of your legs, and you probably feel embarrassed to show them to anyone, choosing instead to cover them up whenever possible. This likely affects the activities you choose to engage in — swimming is out — and you may feel self-conscious and overly inhibited out of fear that someone might see your legs. These limitations on your activities and comfort could even lead to more severe issues like relationship problems or depression.
Varicose veins, if severe, can also result in more serious medical problems. Leg ulcers can indicate significantly high venous pressure and fluid build-up. Ulcers can be complicated to treat and may lead to infection and additional medical issues.
Bleeding from broken blood vessels near the surface of your skin poses additional risks. Blood clots are another health threat. Significant, sudden onset of swelling and pain in a leg could indicate a deep vein blood clot, a hazardous condition that may originate from varicose veins.
How EVLT Solves Varicose Vein Problems
Behind EVLT lies a very simple idea. Suppose you can close the varicose vein at its source. In that case, the vein will atrophy, your body will reabsorb it, and you will no longer experience the associated embarrassment, discomfort, or problems. EVLT does just that.
Using ultrasound as a guide, your doctor will insert a tiny catheter into affected veins, apply laser energy as the catheter is withdrawn and ablate (or close) the veins beginning at their source. Your body will automatically re-route your blood flow through deeper and healthier veins.
Benefits of EVLT for Varicose Veins
EVLT is a popular treatment option for varicose veins due to its numerous benefits. It is minimally invasive, meaning that it requires only tiny incisions and no major surgical procedures. This leads to a quick recovery and a return to normal activities within a few days of the procedure.
EVLT also has a high success rate, with a high percentage of patients reporting improvement in the appearance of their varicose veins and relief of symptoms. In addition, EVLT does not result in scarring, making it an attractive option for those looking for a solution that does not leave behind any visible signs.
Preparing for EVLT
During your consultation, Dr. J will evaluate your veins and provide personalized instructions based on your health and circumstances. On the day of the procedure, it is recommended to wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the affected area. In most cases you may drive yourself to the office.
You will receive all the specific instructions you’ll need on how to prepare for the procedure including what to bring with you to the appointment.
The EVLT Procedure
EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser technology to seal off the affected vein, which will close up and fade away, eventually being absorbed by the body. The EVLT procedure is performed under local anesthesia and typically takes less than 30 minutes.
The procedure begins with preparation, during which the patient is positioned on an exam table, and the leg is cleaned and numbed with local anesthesia. This helps to ensure that the patient is comfortable during the procedure.
Next, the vein is accessed through a small incision. A thin, flexible catheter is inserted into the vein to guide the laser fiber during the procedure. During the laser energy delivery stage, the laser fiber is passed through the catheter and positioned within the affected vein. The laser energy is then delivered, heating the vein and causing it to collapse and seal shut. This effectively closes the vein and redirects blood flow to healthier veins.
Finally, the catheter is removed, and the incision is closed with a small bandage. The treated leg is monitored for a short period of time to ensure proper healing and to assess any potential complications. After the procedure, compression stockings are administered, and the patient is usually able to walk immediately.
Recovering From EVLT
After the EVLT procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort, swelling or bruising. You will be required to wear compression stockings for a period of time to help reduce swelling and promote healing.
Most patients return to their normal activities shortly after the procedure, but it’s important to avoid strenuous activities until you have fully recovered. Depending upon whether the procedure is performed alone or in combination with other minimally invasive vein procedures, it may be recommended to avoid soaking in a bathtub, swimming, flying on an airplane or lifting objects greater than 30 pounds for the following two weeks. If you’re traveling far by car, you should get out of the car every two hours and walk for five to ten minutes for continued circulation and general leg health and to avoid post-procedure complications.
Dr. J will give you specific instructions on what to expect after the procedure and when to call if you experience any unusual symptoms. We’re here for your entire journey!
Results After EVLT
Most patients receive between two and four minimally invasive vein procedures to have all their veins and symptoms treated effectively. However, the number of treatments you will need to remedy your condition will depend on several factors, including the severity and extent of your varicose veins and the amount of time you have had the problem.
You will see and feel results quickly. While some patients will notice improvements on the day of their treatment, most will experience dramatic improvements in the weeks following their procedures. You will notice as your veins will continue to improve in appearance in the following weeks and the painful symptoms of varicose veins will also fade.
It won’t be long before you’re proud to wear shorts and skirts again!
Risks and Complications Associated With EVLT
As with any medical procedure, there are some risks and potential complications. Because EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure, complications occur very infrequently. Unlike traditional surgery, you will not need general anesthesia or hospitalization, which also reduces your risks.
Possible side effects may include mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Compression stockings, ice and over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications may be suggested on a case-by-case basis.
You No Longer Have To Suffer With Varicose Veins
You do not have to suffer from varicose veins. Whether the look of your veins bothers you or you are experiencing more severe problems, you can seek treatment that will, in many cases, eradicate the problem. The now widely accepted EVLT treatment can eliminate problem veins without surgery, pain or scarring and can provide long-lasting results.
First in the Panhandle to Perform the EVLT™ Laser Procedure
Before laser therapy, the best way to help severe leg vein issues typically included surgery. But Dr. Jimenez brought EVLT, the minimally invasive solution for those seeking to improve the appearance of their varicose veins and relieve symptoms, to the Pensacola area. It is an attractive option with a quick recovery time, a high success rate, and no scarring. He was the pioneer of laser treatment for varicose veins along the Emerald Coast, performing the first procedure over 20 years ago.
Through his decades of experience, Dr. J has learned that the best way to treat bad veins involves treating what you see as well as the underlying reasons. Starting at your consultation in one of our three locations: Pensacola or Destin, FL and Foley, AL, Dr. J is by your side through each step of the EVLT process. Total care is his top concern, which is why he makes the commute for each patient without question.
Put your health in the hands of the best vein doctor, and get ready to show off your legs instead of hiding them. Call The Vein Center at 1-800-910-VEIN or click here to book your FREE consultation today with Dr. J!
Is Laser Treatment For Varicose Veins Safe?
Laser treatment for varicose veins is generally considered safe, especially when performed by an experienced physician such as Dr. J.
Does Laser Varicose Vein Treatment Hurt?
The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic, and patients are able to return to normal activities soon after. Some people may experience mild discomfort during the procedure, but most patients tolerate the procedure very well.
What Happens To Varicose Veins After EVLT?
The majority of patients experience significant improvement in the appearance and symptoms of their veins. The treated veins typically shrink and eventually disappear. However, it is possible for new varicose veins to form over time, so it is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow Dr. J’s recommendations to minimize the risk of recurrence.
Who is a good candidate for EVLT?
The EVLT procedure has very few contraindications, so if you suffer from varicose veins, you most likely will qualify for the treatment.
Does Insurance cover EVLT For Varicose Veins?
As for insurance coverage, it depends on the insurance company and the specific plan. Most insurance companies may cover laser treatment for varicose veins if certain patient specific medical criteria are met. If necessary and valid, we can help confirm that you meet the medical criteria for insurance coverage.