Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is a procedure used to treat long straight
varicose veins that are seen only by ultrasound. These veins are, often
times, the underlying source of the vein problems. This procedure is
performed in the office under live ultrasound to allow us to see each step
of the process. Through a single tiny incision, a narrow catheter is
inserted into the abnormal vein. Through this a laser fiber is advanced
through the catheter and is precisely positioned. Next, local anesthesia is
injected to surround the vein and numb it. The laser is then activated,
heating the vessel and causing it to close as the laser is slowly pulled
through the length of the vein. The vein is immediately closed and over the
course of 6-12 months the vein disappears completely. The body’s response
is to re-route that blood to healthy veins in the leg.
The actual ablation procedure itself is painless, but of course there are a
few needle pricks to insert the local anesthetic, but after that the vein is
numb and there is no discomfort. For a couple weeks afterward there is some
soreness in the treated area but patients are immediately back to activity.
So many patients in my Albuquerque vein clinic know someone, a friend, aunt,
mom, or sister who previously had their varicose veins removed via vein
stripping in years past, a more painful, invasive procedure. Rest assured
there are no similarities between the old vein stripping procedure and the
newer laser closure (EVLA) of diseased veins. Using state-of-the-art laser
energy, we will have you looking and feeling better in no time!