Varicose Veins and Venous Insufficiency
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Specialists in laser varicose veins treatment in Memphis, TN.
What is Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)?
The procedure, which treats varicose veins, is approximately one hour long and does not require hospitalization. Under local anesthesia, the greater saphenous vein is entered with ultrasound guidance and a thin plastic tube less than 2 millimeters in diameter is inserted. The laser fiber is used to deliver heat energy along the entire length of the GSV. This causes occlusion (closure) of the entire length of the abnormal vein, eliminating the most common cause of varicose veins.
After the local anesthesia is applied for initial vein entry, the procedure is virtually pain-free. After the procedure, a compression stocking is worn for one week. Normal activities can be resumed immediately after leaving the clinic. Patients may experience soreness and tightness or a pulling sensation in the inner thigh for 7-10 days. This is easily managed with anti-inflammatory medication.
How does a laser treat varicose veins?
Your veins carry blood from the capillaries to the heart. In your leg, this means the blood has to flow upward, against gravity. Consequently, these veins have one-way valves to prevent the blood from backflowing. Over time these valves can fail to close tightly, allowing blood to pool and causing the bulging and twisting characteristic of varicose veins.
EVLT fixes this problem at the source by delivering just the right wavelength of laser energy to just the right tissue, causing the incompetent vein to close. Your body automatically routes the blood to other healthy veins.
How long before I see the results?
There may be some slight swelling right after the procedure, but you could start seeing results immediately. Two-year results from medical studies show a 93-95% success rate for the laser treatment. This is a much higher success rate than surgical ligation or stripping.
In the largest study to date with results available in nearly 500 legs treated with endovascular laser, a recurrence rate of less than 7% at 2-year follow-up was demonstrated. These results are superior to those reported for the other options available for treatment of GSV reflux, including surgery, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, and radiofrequency ablation.