What is it?
EVLA is a recent innovation in modern varicose vein treatment. EVLA delivers precise laser energy to the treated vein to seal them off. EVLA is an alternative to surgical stripping of varicose veins. It is less invasive and associated with minimal downtime and complications. It is often used in conjunction with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (UGS).
EVLA is best for very large stem-veins whereas UGS is best for the smaller branch-veins. Treating incompetent veins will limit and reverse varicose vein complications such as leg swelling, itch, pain, skin darkening (pigmentation), eczema, hardening of the skin (lipodermatosclerosis) and end-ulceration. EVLA involves a combination of laser and ultrasound technology and does not require admission to hospital or general anaesthesia.
How does it work?
The procedure is performed under oral and/or nitrous oxide sedation. Ultrasound is used to locate the abnormal vein. Next, the laser fibre is inserted into the target vein. Local anaesthetic is infiltrated around the vein at several points using extremely fine needles, under ultrasound guidance. The laser is precisely positioned before it is activated and slowly withdrawn. The laser activation delivers heat that is capable of sealing the entire length of the vein.
After EVLA, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy (UGS) is started on some of the branch-veins. UGS is continued in the subsequent weeks until all the incompetent veins are fully treated. Compression stockings and bandages are applied after laser treatment session.