If you’re looking for a safe and effective way to eliminate painful, ropy varicose veins, then you’ve probably come across several treatment options during your research. Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is a new, minimally invasive, ultrasound-guided technique that uses laser energy to reduce varicose veins. Instead of tying and removing the damaged veins from your body, EVLA safely eliminates them with heat.
Once the damaged vein is treated, it collapses, and the body naturally reroutes blood to other, healthy veins. The body then absorbs the treated vein.
Whether you’ve heard of EVLA before or not, you may have some questions about the treatment itself as well as the recovery process. Here are 10 of the most common questions about endovenous laser ablation:
Top 10 questions about EVLA
1. Is EVLA right for me?
EVLA is often used to treat large, bulging varicose veins in the upper and lower parts of the leg. Saphenous veins, the longest veins in the body, are especially responsive to EVLA. While many people with large varicose veins are good candidates for this treatment, your vein care specialist will occasionally recommend alternative treatment options. Also, EVLA is recommended for veins that are larger and located deeper in your legs. Smaller veins located just under the skin’s surface are better suited for sclerotherapy.
2. Is EVLA painful?
This answer largely depends on your unique pain tolerance; however, the vast majority of patients report little to no pain when undergoing EVLA. Many patients say the only pain they feel is extremely brief during the initial administration of the local anesthesia.
3. How can I prepare for EVLA treatment?
Nothing particular needs to be done in preparation for the procedure. Be sure to bring your compression stockings with you on the day of your treatment, eat, and take medications as usual.
4. How long is the recovery process?
Endovenous laser ablation is an outpatient procedure that takes less than an hour. You should be able to resume your normal daily activities within a few hours. (You will need to avoid very strenuous activities and hot tubs for the first 2-3 days following EVLA).
5. Does EVLA cause bruising and/or scarring?
You will not have any scarring following EVLA treatment. However, you may experience some bruising for up to 2-4 weeks afterward. Although uncommon, if you experience any discomfort during your recovery phase, simple pain relief medications, like ibuprofen, are recommended.
6. What is the success rate of EVLA?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the EVLA success rate is between 95-100% after six months. It’s rare for patients to return for a second treatment.
7. Is EVLA FDA-approved?
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) was FDA approved in 2002 and has entirely replaced the need for painful surgical stripping of large, varicose veins in the legs. EVLA is considered one of the best ways to treat varicose veins.
8. What do I need to do after EVLA treatment?
Wear compression stockings on the treated leg for 7 days after treatment or as directed by your physician. Avoid strenuous activity or exercises like running or weightlifting for the first 36 hours following treatment.
9. Does my insurance cover endovenous laser ablation?
Most insurance providers cover EVLA and RFA as primary treatment and sclerotherapy as secondary treatment when medically necessary. The vein care specialists at Virginia Vein Care are highly experienced in working directly with insurance companies to ensure you’re getting appropriate treatment that’s covered by your plan. If you have specific questions about your coverage, please speak to one of our skilled specialists during your initial consultation.
10. What are the risks of EVLA?
There are very few risks when you choose Virginia Vein Care for your EVLA treatment. The treatment has an extremely low complication rate, though some tenderness and bruising are normal. Other benefits include fast recovery, no stitches, no scarring, low infection risk, and long-lasting results.
If you’re struggling with painful, ropy, varicose veins, ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a Virginia Vein Care location near you for expert EVLA treatment. Our specialists can help you restore the natural beauty of your legs using our advanced, painless treatment options.