How does the EVLA procedure work?
EVLA is performed under local anesthesia, a laser fiber is inserted into the varicose vein through a tiny puncture site. The laser energizes the optic fiber as it is withdrawn from the vein. Energy emitted from the tip of the fiber causes only the treated vein to close. The deep veins, however, are not touched by the laser as they continue to transport blood away from the legs. The procedure lasts on the average approximately an hour.
What is the recovery time following the EVLA procedure?
You will be able to resume most normal daily activities immediately, with the exception of heavy lifting and vigorous aerobic exercises.
How much does it cost?
When done in a symptomatic patient, EVLA is a procedure that is reimbursed by most medical insurance and Medicare. While there are exceptions, a number of insurance carriers require a trial of support or compression stockings prior to EVLA. Our office will work with you and your insurance carrier through the predetermination process to determine medical necessity.
Are there alternative treatments for varicose veins?
Until the advent of EVLA, the traditional treatment for varicose veins was surgical stripping and ligation, a surgical solution many patients found painful and long recovery time. The EVLA procedure is a less traumatic way to relieve the pain and discomfort of varicose veins. Some patients may need the combination of EVLA with mini phlebectomy and/or sclerotherapy. Novel treatments (non-thermal, non-tumescent ablation) continue to evolve, but may not be covered under policy of a specific insurance carrier.
Will my varicose veins totally disappear following the EVLA procedure?
In most cases, there will be a significant reduction in the discomfort and visibility of the varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is available for those patients who desire an even more dramatic cosmetic result following the procedure.
What are the potential risks and complications?
Complications are very rare, but may include any of the following:
- Mild numbness in thigh area
- Pulling sensation
- Phlebitis – redness and tenderness of the skin, mild and can be treated with medication, usually goes away in 3-7 days
- Deep venous thrombosis – possibly can be prevented by wearing compression bandage or compression stocking and walking right after the procedure
- Infection of incision site
Failure of the procedure – may occur due to inability to place probe inside the vein or failure of laser to destroy the vein