How it Works: Endovenous laser – often abbreviated to EVLT or EVL – works by heating the abnormal unhealthy vein to a temperature at which it is cauterised, sterilised and devitalised. After numbing the skin with local anaesthetic, a fine needle is inserted into the vein under the guidance of ultrasound. Then a laser fibre is introduced and positioned very carefully inside the vein to the point in the leg where the unhealthy abnormal valves are causing the root of the problem (the highest point of reflux in the leg). The Biolitec laser system that I use has an additional light beam at the tip of the laser that shows through the skin to aid accurate positioning of the laser. The position of the laser is also double checked with the ultrasound and then the vein is numbed with local anaesthetic.
Care must be taken with the use of the laser and the eyes are particularly sensitive to the laser beam. As a safety precaution, protective eye-wear is used whenever the laser is in use – that includes the patient as well as staff.
Once the vein is numbed, the laser energy is activated and the vein is sealed from the inside. As the laser fibre is withdrawn down the length of the vein it is closed off and cauterised all the way down. The laser fibre is then removed and the treatment is complete. The improvement is seen immediately and over the next few weeks and months, microscopic human cells such as macrophages and white blood cells migrate to the devitalised vein, they auto-digest it – they nibble it away- so that when the leg is examined by ultrasound say 6 months later, the vein has disappeared (the medical term for this is phagocytosis). When the laser treatment is performed correctly, the vein cannot re-grow and unlike stripping where there are vein ends that want to regrow and re-join, recurrence due to neovascularisation does not happen after laser.
So laser is better for a number of reasons.
- Firstly it avoids hospitals, surgery, general anaesthesia and it can be performed as a walk in walk out treatment in a clinic.
- Also, it gives much better cosmetic results with no surgical scars, virtually no risk of infection, deep vein thrombosis or nerve injury.
- Furthermore, the risk of recurrence, the risk of the veins causing trouble again is the lowest compared with any other form of varicose vein removal.
Contact me today for a confidential chat
If you’re worried about your veins and would like a confidential chat please do get in touch. I am happy to offer simple advice by telephone or email for free and without obligation.
The VeinCare Centre also offers a screening assessment with our vascular technologist. For £25 you can have a scan with Wendy Parsons. She is not a doctor and so she could not give you medical advice but she can check your deep veins and your varicose veins and give you an idea of how bad they are and whether laser might be suitable for you. If you would like to have an appointment with Wendy please call 0800 698 3467.