ENDOVENOUS LASER THERAPY (EVLT)
EVLT is considered by many authorities to be the treatment of choice for managing large varicose veins in the leg caused by damage to the Greater Saphenous Vein (GSV) or Small Saphenous Vein (see diagram).
EVLT is an in-office procedure that takes about one hour, is very safe, is associated with minimal discomfort and best of all does not require any missed work or play. EVLT is an alternative to the traditional vein stripping procedure which requires hospitalization, a general anaesthetic, and healing time from incisions. A catheter is placed inside the vein using local anaesthetic and ultrasound guidance. Inside the catheter, a laser fiber is threaded which when activated, can gently shrink the vein from the inside. After the treatment, our patients are placed in a compression stocking and asked to immediately go for a 15 min. walk. From there on patients can resume their normal daily activities. The stocking is worn during the day only for 1 week after the procedure and patients are required to walk a minimum of 10 minutes three times per day (in the house is OK) for 1-2 weeks.
Before & After
Questions and Answers regarding EVLT
How much does EVLT cost?
EVLT is not covered by B.C. Health Care. Our fee for treating a vein with EVLT is $2500 per leg or $4500 to treat both legs in the same visit, payable by credit card or direct debit. This fee includes the cost of equipment, disposable sterile materials and staff and physician time.
What are the advantages of EVLT over ligation and stripping surgery?
EVLT is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure. It requires only local anesthesia and no stitches. Patients can walk out of the office and quickly return to normal activities. Cure rates with EVLT are 95-98% which is higher than with any other form of therapy.
Is EVLT painful?
No. Patients report that there is no pain during the procedure. Occasionally, they do experience a feeling of heat, with brief discomfort, from the laser energy. There may be some discomfort and tenderness in the treated area for 1 -2 weeks following.
How long will I be off my feet?
Recovery time is minimal. Patients can walk out of the office after the procedure and, in most cases, immediately resume normal daily activities, excluding strenuous exercise and prolonged standing. Long plane or auto trips should be avoided for 3-4 weeks.
What are the typical side effects of EVLT?
The common side effects are minor bruising and sometimes a sore, lumpy cord in the treated area, both of which disappear within 1-2 weeks of the procedure.
How long does the procedure take?
Although the EVLT procedure itself takes 45 to 60 minutes, the total time required including before and after treatment is approximately 2 hours.
Will I be able to drive home?
Yes, but you will be required to walk for 15 minutes before getting in your car. If you are from out of town you will need to pull over every 30 minutes when driving home and walk for 5 minutes.
Who should not have EVLT?
Patients who are pregnant, have had a recent blood clot, have arterial occlusive disease, are in poor general health or on bed rest, are not good candidates for EVLT. Occasionally, a vein may be too small or tortuous to allow passage of the catheter and laser fiber.
For further information go to: www.venacure-evlt.com/