EVLT (Endovenous Laser Therapy)

Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is a minimally invasive procedure to treat large, superficial veins in the thigh and calf — namely the great and small saphenous veins. It uses thermal (heat) energy to close and seal shut varicose veins so they are no longer visible.

How does the procedure work?

Using ultrasound guidance, a laser fiber is inserted through the skin and into the abnormal vein. Thermal energy is delivered to the vein wall, causing the vein to permanently close so that it is no longer visible through the skin. The body automatically routes blood to nearby, healthy veins. This outpatient procedure is performed under local anesthesia — a large volume of dilute anesthetic is injected around the vein before the laser is activated to close it. The procedure is often done in combination with sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy to prevent the recurrence of varicose veins.

What happens after the procedure?

You are encouraged to walk for at least 30 minutes after the procedure and to stay busy on your feet the remainder of the day. You can then return to most normal activities the next day. Following the procedure, you will wear compression stockings, which help stimulate proper blood flow through the remaining veins. The stockings are worn at all hours for three days and during the daytime only for the following four weeks. Long periods of immobility are discouraged as movement helps promote proper blood flow.

Am I a good candidate for ambulatory phlebectomy?

EVLT is a safe and proven treatment for many patients with large, unsightly varicose veins. However, it is not appropriate for people who are pregnant, have more serious obstructions in the deep venous system, are unable to wear compression stockings for varicose veins or unable to walk or stand for extended periods.

Contact UR Vein Center to learn more or to schedule an appointment at our New Brunswick, Warren or Edison locations.