An Introduction to EVLT
Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) is an effective procedure used to treat vein disease. It is very safe and minimally invasive.
This procedure is performed under a local anesthetic. A small catheter is inserted into the vein through a tiny incision. A laser fiber is then inserted through the catheter using ultrasound to guide it into place and a local anesthetic is injected around the vein sheath. This is followed by a pulse of laser energy that will seal the vein shut. After the vein is sealed off, it will be absorbed by the body. The blood will then reroute to adjacent healthy veins.
The entire procedure usually takes about an hour. During the recovery period, you will be instructed to wear compression stockings for about a week. While athletic or exercise activities should be avoided for three to four days, other normal activities can be resumed almost immediately.
How Safe is EVLT?
According to Dr. Wright of St. Louis Laser Vein Center, “As with any medical procedure, there is the possibility of certain complications.” He continues, “While the procedure is generally safe the risk of EVLT complications is one of the main reasons this procedure should be performed by an experienced and qualified physician.”
One of the more serious possible EVLT complications is development of a clot within the deeper vein system. Other risks include:
• Allergic reaction to the anesthetic, which contains lidocaine and epinephrine.
• Because the procedure uses the generation of heat, there is a small possibility that the heat can pass through the vein walls and injure the surrounding skin and nerves. Again, these cases are very rare when performed by a skilled surgeon.
• There is a very small risk of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot; however, the risk in the medical literature is quoted at about one in a thousand procedures. When performed by very experienced surgeons like Dr. Wright, the risk is less. Dr. Wright reports a risk of DVT from an EVLT is less than one in ten thousand procedures.
Ultimately, leaving vein disease untreated opens the possibility of far more serious conditions than the small risks and complications associated with endovenous laser treatment. Dr. Wright says, “It is important that any vein disease be properly diagnosed and treated, before it turns into a more serious medical condition.”
St. Louis Laser Vein Center
At St. Louis Laser Vein Center, we are experts in vein disease. We want to ensure that all of our patients receive the very best diagnosis and treatments/procedures that can help them achieve vein health. We can also advise you as to whether your particular case may be covered by insurance, as certain vein diseases are considered medical conditions, rather than just a cosmetic issue. Please contact us to schedule a consultation to evaluate the health and well-being of your veins.