Varicose Veins Can Be Permanently Eliminated With A Modern, Non-surgical Treatment Called EVLA.
Varicose veins are one of the most common vascular diseases, affecting approximately 25% of women and 15% of men in the U.S. Historically a treatment known as vein stripping was used to treat this condition. Vein stripping was performed in an operating room, under general anesthesia, and was associated with a painful and lengthy recovery period. Since vein stripping only removes the varicose vein, but does not treat the original cause of the vein disease, the veins and the symptoms often recur after 2-3 years. For this reason many individuals chose to suffer with the symptoms, and others were condemned to a lifetime with miserable, heavy support stockings.
What causes varicose veins?
In healthy veins, blood flows in only one direction; up the vein and back to the heart. To prevent backward flow of the blood, the healthy vein contains valves which open and close with contraction of the leg muscle. When these valves fail to close properly, blood can begin to pool in the vein. This increases the pressure within the vein, causing the vein walls to expand and creates the visible appearance of a varicose vein. Left untreated, this can lead to pain, swelling, restless feelings, and even leg ulcers. Heredity, pregnancy, age, obesity, and occupations that require prolonged periods of sitting or standing are the contributing factors that lead to varicose veins.
What is EVLA?
Endovenous Laser Ablation is a non-surgical procedure, proven safe and effective for those suffering from painful varicose veins.
What is involved?
The first step is a comprehensive ultrasound exam of the legs. This allows the physician to determine the precise location and cause of the varicose vein. Even though the symptoms may only be in the lower portion of the leg, the cause of those symptoms may be well above that, in the upper portion of the thigh. Once the cause is determined, the physician can determine if EVLA is the appropriate treatment.
How is EVLA performed?
Unlike stripping procedures that require general anesthesia, only local anesthesia is required for EVLA. It is performed right in the office. The laser fiber passes directly into the diseased vein through a small puncture. With ultrasound guidance, the fiber is positioned directly at the source (cause) of the varicose vein and the laser is activated. This directs laser energy through the fiber, to the diseased vein. This causes the diseased vein to close. The laser treatment itself actually takes less than five minutes and the patient has no discomfort with the laser procedure due to the local anesthesia.
What is recovery like?
Following the EVLA, a compression stocking is worn for a few weeks. Patients can walk immediately following the procedure. Most patients return to normal activity within a day or two.
Is EVLA covered by insurance?
Typically, most insurances including Medicare cover EVLA