The most feared risk is also the most rare – formation of deep vein blood clots (“deep vein thrombosis” or “DVT”) and/or pulmonary embolism (“PE”–travel of blood clots to the lungs, potentially a life-threatening complication.)
How rare is DVT or PE after the EVLT procedure? Some of the early studies of EVLT reported the risk in a wide range, from one in 100 to one in 400. However, as the definition of DVT was clarified, and as the laser technology switched to a low-energy laser machine the incidence has become very, very low. Recent studies on low-energy laser therapy involving many patients (studies involving between 200 to over 1,100 patients) did not report any incidence of DVT or PE. We also use low-energy laser therapy, and our experience has been similar to that of the literature, very rare.
There are minor risks such as post-procedural leg pain, skin nerve irritation and damage, appearance of tiny red “blush” of spider veins, and other minor or statistically rare “risks” of the procedure, which will be explained during your office visit with Dr. Lee.