Many times, a bulging varicose vein in your leg is caused by other, non-visible veins. Before treating the varicose vein, the major vein causing the issue should first be closed.
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) uses a laser to close major abnormal veins that can cause varicose veins, leg ulcers, and other problems. The procedure is virtually pain-free and is performed in an office under the guidance of ultrasound.
Endovenous laser ablation destroys the vein from the inside by inserting laser energy into the vein. This minimally invasive procedure replaces older techniques of vein stripping, or ligation, which require surgery.
A local anesthetic is injected to numb the area prior to the laser procedure, and then a single tiny incision is made. The heat of the laser destroys the vein, and over time, the tissue is naturally reabsorbed into the body. The result is fewer complications and less pain overall compared to older techniques.
An EVLA procedure typically takes about an hour.
Varicose veins most often occur in those who are over 50 years old or those who are obese. They are more prevalent in women and are often linked to other symptoms such as pain, leg swelling, skin thickening, ulceration and itching.
Before your EVLA procedure, remember to:
Immediately after the procedure, you should walk for one hour. You should continue walking one hour everyday for at least two weeks. It is recommended that you continue to wear compression socks for two to three weeks after the procedure.
Avoid heavy lifting, extreme exercise, saunas and long flights or car trips for two weeks following the procedure.
Some patients may experience temporary bruising, swelling or inflammation as a result of the procedure. There can also be some skin numbness caused by disruption to adjacent sensory nerves. In rare cases, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or infection can occur.