The Basics of Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
If you have varicose veins/spider veins or have general concerns about your vein health, you may have already heard about endovenous laser treatment. Commonly abbreviated as EVLT, endovenous laser treatment is a state-of-the-art vein treatment that physicians routinely employ to address chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), swollen legs, and a range of varicose vein problems.
EVLT is both extremely effective (with a success rate just short of 100 percent) and minimally invasive (with no scarring and no need for general anesthesia). To perform the procedure in a particular area, physicians must make only a single small incision, which allows them to introduce a catheter under the skin. A laser fiber is then inserted through the catheter, and the physician uses ultrasound-guided to introduce laser light on specifically diseased veins. Damaged by this light, the vein becomes sealed shut and blood flow is automatically rerouted to healthy veins nearby. Over time, the closed diseased vein is ultimately reabsorbed into surrounding body tissues.
A Brief Recovery Process
Patients typically spend less than an hour in the doctor’s office, undergoing EVLT as an outpatient procedure. A chief benefit of EVLT is that is required essentially no downtime whatsoever. In fact, patients are encouraged to walk normally and resume daily activities directly after the EVLT procedure, as these activities promote circulation to speed the healing process. However, strenuous cardiovascular exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for approximately a week or longer if necessary.
Patients can begin to exercise as usual as soon as localized bruising and discomfort begin to significantly diminish. In the wake of the EVLT procedure, the majority of patients experience mild bruising and tightness in treated areas, but these side effects tend to subside within days. To alleviate soreness in the meantime, patients are encouraged to apply direct heat and take over-the-counter pain relievers.
Most patients see significant benefits from EVLT directly after the procedure. When diseased veins are closed and drained of blood, the unpleasant medical symptoms and unsightly appearance of varicose and spider veins are immediately diminished. Over time, these veins are likely to disappear completely as the body reabsorbs them.
98 percent of patients who undergo the ELVT procedure report full satisfaction with the results for up to 5 years. When compared with the satisfaction rates for other vein treatment options, these statistics are incredibly impressive. For this reason, EVLT is rapidly becoming the new standard for varicose vein treatment in the United States.
For More Information
Dr. Charles Dietzek and the other vein health professionals at New Jersey’s Vein & Vascular Institute are happy to answer any questions about the EVLT procedure and what patients can expect from it. Contact them today for more information.