Endo-Venous Laser Therapy (EVLT) has replaced in-hospital surgical “Vein Stripping™. EVLT is an in-office procedure in which the underlying problematic veins are treated. Endo-Venous Laser Therapy is performed under local anesthesia, with a pinpoint sized incision. The CoolTouch™ Endo-Venous Laser works by precisely heating water within the wall of the vein causing it to seal shut and disappear.
This treatment is performed with a high tech duplex ultrasound machine to map the vein, and visually guide the laser treatment. EVLT generally takes from 30-45 minutes and a compression stocking is worn for 7-10 days. Patients can return to normal lifestyle right away, except for heavy exercise for one week.*
The goal of EVLT is to eliminate the abnormal sub-surface veins so that the blood re-routes through the remaining normal veins much more efficiently. The result is reducing the abnormal pressure on the remaining veins, therefore eliminating symptoms. EVLT was FDA-approved in 2002 and has very quickly become the gold standard of treatment for underlying varicose veins.
Will I need more treatment after EVLT? After EVLT, residual surface varicose veins may be treated with ambulatory micro phlebectomy (varicose vein microsurgery), sclerotherapy or spider vein laser.
Will healthcare insurance cover the cost of EVLT? Yes, in most cases insurance companies will pay for EVLT, as this is for the treatment of varicose veins that they consider “medical”.
How is EVLT different from radiofrequency “closure” (VNUS) technique? Closure procedure is an older technique that is generally performed in a hospital setting and has shown to be less effective when compared to laser therapy.