Commonly known as EVLT, this laser treatment method is the most popular and widely used method technique to destroy varicose veins. Endovenous Laser Ablation uses laser fiber, a small needle and an ultrasound device to eliminate unsightly and painful varicose veins. The needle is inserted into the vein, guided by ultrasound to the precise area in the diseased vein. A laser fiber is fed through the needle and heat is applied as it is slowly pulled out of the varicose vein, causing it to collapse. The sealed vein is then broken down and gradually carried away by the body. Circulation is maintained as blood is re-routed through nearby healthy veins. Legs feel better almost immediately and will begin to look better over the next days and weeks as the vein is reabsorbed into the body.

Why is Endovenous Laser Ablation so Popular?

EVLT is a very effective, minimally invasive treatment to provide relief to patients suffering from pain, leg swelling and unsightly bulging leg veins that signal varicose veins. EVLT can be performed under local anesthetic and accomplished in less than an hour. EVLT requires little downtime needed to recover from the procedure and little to no post-procedure pain. Patients may experience some bruising from the procedure. EVLT can be performed with different types of lasers, so your vascular surgeon will choose the best laser for your needs. The EVLT treatment is a much more convenient, faster, cheaper and less risky (because no general anesthesia is involved and treatment is minimally invasive) than earlier alternatives such as vein stripping surgery.

Other Modern Varicose Vein Treatment Methods

  • Venefit is another popular option to eliminate bulging veins from the legs or other areas of the body. Venefit, uses radiofrequencies (RF) to heat and destroy varicose veins. Compared to laser, patients experience less bruising and pain with the Venefit procedure (formerly known as VNUS Closure).   The newest  varicose vein treatment is Nonthermal closure, a procedure that relies on chemicaly energy  to seal veins without heat.
  • For the largest varicose veins, microphlebectomy is a minimally invasive method used to reduce the bulge and smooth the skin.  In this treatment, the veins are actually removed through tiny incisions (no stitches required). These are actually small punctures in the skin, which allow the veins to be pulled out and removed from the limb. This is different from the old stripping surgery, and local anesthesia only is needed for this in-office procedure and patients can walk out of the office afterwards.
  • Small varicose veins and tiny spider veins can be effectively eliminated with sclerotherapy. This involves a liquid of foam chemical that, once injected into the vein, closes it off so that it can be carried away by the body.
  • Vein surgery has been mostly eliminated and replaced by the minimally invasive treatments described here. However, in some cases, where vein disease is extensive, surgery may be required. Expert vascular surgeons will recommend and perform vein surgery only when it is absolutely necessary in a minority of cases

For an assessment of your vascular system and to learn about treatment options, contact the vein doctors at  Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center in Gig Harbor.