Endovenous Laser Treatment
- Highly effective for varicose veins and venous insufficiency
- Safe, with minimum pain
- No surgical incision
- Insurance can cover
What exactly is Endovenous Laser Treament and how does it work?
Endovenous Laser Treatment (ELT), also known as Endovenous Thermal Ablation when used with radiofrequency technology, is a revolutionary procedure for treating varicose veins. As a minimally invasive treatment, it will make you feel and look better fast, and most importantly, with little to no scarring!
Endovenous Laser Treatment is an image-guided procedure that uses targeted laser or radio frequency energy to seal a varicose vein shut. The laser energy damages the vein walls, which subsequently shrink and close the varicose vein so that the blood can no longer flow through it. This process eliminates vein bulging at its very source, diverting the blood to the other, healthy veins in your leg.
Because this procedure uses ultrasound to detect the faulty veins, it is more accurate and effective than many other surgical procedures (e.g. vein stripping). It will help you not only feel more confident to wear shorts in the summer, but also alleviate typical symptoms of varicose veins such as swelling, aching pain, discoloration, and inflammation.
Is Endovenous Laser Treatment painful and what’s the recovery time?
Two typical questions about this procedure are:
Is it going to hurt?
Minimally invasive almost always equals minimal discomfort or pain, and Endovenous Laser Treatment is no exception to this simple rule. So no matter how low or even non-existent your pain threshold is, you shouldn’t have to worry about it with this procedure. Compared to any surgical procedures that are painful and time-consuming, ELT is quick, causes minimum discomfort and is performed on an outpatient basis. You could be out of the office in 90 minutes either back to work or off to the red carpet.
Can I go to work the day after?
Since walking immediately after the treatment is recommended, the answer is yes. Actually, many people can go back to work on the very same day. ELT is followed by quick recovery and you should feel relief from your varicose vein related symptoms shortly thereafter. You will need to wear a compression stocking to help reduce the bruising and prevent potential blood clots, but that is usually a small price to pay for the swiftness and effectiveness of this procedure. For a few days your doctor may have you also avoid strenuous activities, air travel, or prolonged sitting.
Is using Ultrasound during the procedure really so important?
YES! After your physician numbs the area on the leg with local anesthetic, he will insert a catheter into the damaged vein, and the laser fiber or radiofrequency electrode will be inserted through the catheter. Laser or radiofrequency energy is then applied as the doctor slowly withdraws the catheter. So why is the Ultrasound so important? To localize the varicose vein with 100 % accuracy, as well as to lead the catheter properly, the Ultrasound Guidance is vital!
How do I find the best specialist for this?
It is extremely important to make sure you find an expert in this field – ELT is performed by a specially trained interventional radiologist, vascular surgeon or phlebologist. It is always better to find a specialized clinic as they have all the necessary equipment and plenty of experience. Don’t hesitate to schedule several appointments to ensure the best results. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry with any procedure performed on your body!
You can just call and schedule a free appointment so you can ask any specific questions. All these offices are state-of-the-art and the staff is very friendly.
Is one Endovenous Laser Treatment enough and how long will the results last?
According to clinical studies, there are little to no risks from ELT and it has a 98 % initial success rate – in other words, one session is usually sufficient! The procedure typically leaves no scars and has excellent long-term results. Most of the treated veins are not even visible to ultrasound 12 months after the procedure – they simply disappear!
As with many other medical conditions, the recurrence of varicose veins is not entirely preventable. Varicose veins require ongoing care and surveillance, and the sooner you take the right treatment, the more in control of potential complications (such as leg ulcers and blood clots) you will be.
Cost and Insurance
The cost of ELT varies depending on how large the treated area is. Most medical insurance and Medicare cover this procedure for patients who experience symptoms of varicose veins. You might have to go through a short trial period of wearing compression stockings and taking pain medication, but in the end ELT will get reimbursed in the majority of cases. All specialist groups mentioned above that perform Endovenous Laser Treatment will communicate with your insurance company and assist you with any necessary paperwork.