Project Description

Endovenous Laser Treatment

Endovenous laser treatment, also referred to as EVLT, is the primary method of closing the abnormal, refluxing superficial veins in the treatment of venous insufficiency.

EVLT belongs to a group of venous treatments called Endovenous Thermal Ablation. Basically, this refers to the use of heat to “ablate” (i.e., to close off) the inside of the vein. The heat—used to “cauterize’ or “ablate” the vein to close—is commonly generated by laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) or radiofrequency waves transmitted through a long catheter to its tip placed inside of the vein. Sometimes a mechanical and chemical closure is used. At Advanced Vein Care Center, we primarily use the laser-generated EVLT to treat venous insufficiency.

Chronic venous insufficiency is caused by the underlying abnormal veins that are usually significant in size, usually located from 1 cm to 3 cm under the skin in a non-obese patient. These are called the “saphenous veins,” and they are usually not visible to the eye and require an ultrasound imaging. Visualizing the vein with an ultrasound, the vein specialist performs the EVLT to “ablate” these veins, thereby closing the source of the abnormal veins that give rise to the visible varicose veins on the skin. In sum, EVLT shuts off the source of chronic venous insufficiency symptoms, the saphenous veins, and the varicose veins are removed by hand during phlebectomy (see Phlebectomy section).

EVLT: General Questions & Answers

What happens to the vein after it is closed off, or "ablated" by EVLT?
What happens to the blood flow when the long saphenous vein is shut off? Will other veins "take over"?
Does EVLT require general anesthesia? Will I be awake or asleep?
How long does it take to do EVLT?
Can you do both legs with EVLT at the same time?
How much does it hurt after EVLT?
How much time should I take off from work following EVLT?
How effective is EVLT?
What is the chance that my varicose veins and leg symptoms will come back after EVLT?

Benefits and Risks of the Procedure

What are the benefits of the EVLT procedure?
What are the risks of the EVLT procedure?

EVLT: Before, During, and After Questions & Answers

Before the Procedure: Preparation

Will I get any instruction about the specifics of how to prepare for the EVLT procedure?
Are there any specific Do’s and Don’ts in the days leading up to the EVLT procedure?
Do I have to take any medication before the procedure?
Why Ibuprofen? When do I take it before the procedure?
Why Ativan (Lorazepam)? When do I take it before the procedure?
What is EMLA Cream? When do I take it before the procedure?
I have had knee (or hip) replacement and I always have to take antibiotics for prevention of infection. Will I have to do the same?
I am on a blood thinner (Coumadin, Plavix, Pradaxa, etc.). Do I have to stop it before the EVLT procedure?
I take aspirin, one low-dose aspirin every day. Do I have to stop it before the EVLT procedure?
Do I have to bring compression stockings to the procedure? Will I have to wear them right after the procedure?
What do I wear to the procedure? Do I have to bring change of clothes?
Should I shave my leg before the EVLT procedure?
My appointment is at 10 am. Is it okay to come right at 10 am, or do I have to come earlier?
Can I drive myself to and from the EVLT procedure?

During the Procedure

Will I have a chance to use the Restroom before the procedure?
Can I have someone stay with me in the room during the procedure?
Can I bring my iPod and listen to music? Or bring my iPad?
What happens during the EVLT procedure?
Will I get anything to "knock me out" during the procedure?
Will the procedure hurt? Will the laser hurt?
I have Latex allergy. Will that be a problem? How about a surgical prep allergy? How about a tape allergy?

After Procedure Care

After the EVLT procedure, how long do I have to wear the compression stockings?
What if I experience problems with wearing the compression stockings after the procedure? If I don’t wear it, will it "un-do" the effects of the procedure?
Should I keep my leg elevated after the procedure?
How much do I have to "move around" after the procedure?
How much pain and discomfort should I expect afterwards?
What can I take for pain relief?
When can I take a shower?
When can I take a bath?
When can I go into a swimming pool?
When can I exercise?
I see a lot of "black-and-blue" bruises. Is this normal? How about redness?
Following the procedure, leg hurts and it is swollen. Can this be the deep vein blood clot that’s potentially life-threatening?
When can I travel? Is there any travel restriction following the procedure?
When can I resume my birth control pills or hormone supplementation following the EVLT procedure?
There is blood oozing from my leg after the procedure. Is this dangerous?

Contact Us

For more information about endovenous laser treatment feel free to get in touch with our informed office staff. Our Springfield, MA office can be reached by phone at (413) 732-4242 or email us.