Endovenous Laser Treatment (ELT) is used to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins. They can be mostly a cosmetic concern for most people, but can also cause other issues. They may also be indicative of circulatory problems. Varicose can cause pain and poor circulation in some people and dealing with this problem requires treatment from a qualified physician.
Endovenous Laser Treatment is used to treat varicose veins and more serious issues as well. It’s a procedure that is minimally invasive and performed by a skin specialist, phlebologist or interventional radiologist.
An optical fibre is placed in the vein that will be treated. Ultrasounds are used to help the physician map the veins. A small puncture is made, usually near the knee. A laser is then used to light the vein’s interior so that it contracts. During Endovenous Laser Treatment, a catheter is placed into either the great saphenous vein or the small saphenous vein after a small incision. The catheter is guided using an ultrasound.
Anaesthesia is inserted into the vein also using an ultrasound. Local anaesthesia is also used in the part of the leg in which the physician will work. No other form of sedation is necessary for ELT. While the fibre or catheter is removed, the laser is activated and this results in the destruction of the vein. This causes blood to automatically flow to healthier veins because unhealthy veins have been closed. Blood flow and appearance are improved, usually with visible results.
Endovenous Laser Treatment usually lasts 1-2 hours and patients are able to walk on their own. Physicians may give patients a stocking or may bandage the leg. The stocking may have to be worn for three weeks after ELT is performed. Rigorous workouts and activities should be avoided for a few days per physician instructions.
The laser technology used in Endovenous Laser Treatment is precise and when the procedure is done by a qualified physician, the laser will not harm other tissue.
Lasers have been consistently proven safe for various types of surgeries and are less risky.
Patients can walk right after the procedure and perform everyday tasks.
Some practitioners are starting to use jacketed fibre during the procedure. This stops contact between the fibre and the vein’s wall and helps greatly diminish any pain or bruising associated with Endovenous Laser Treatment.
Minimal or no scarring.
No hospitalisation or general anaesthesia is required.
A much safer alternative to traditional ligation and stripping surgery and radio frequency electrosurgery.
In some patients, Endovenous Laser Treatment causes soreness, bruising or swelling around the area that received treatment. This is typically dealt with using over the counter pain medicine, as long as it’s of non-aspirin origin.
More serious complications can include skin burns or the formation of a blood clot in the vein. This is a very rare occurrence.
Some patients report a feeling of “pulling” after the procedure, though this is simply a confirmation that unhealthy veins have been closed.
Patients must then incorporate lifestyle changes to ensure the healthier veins remain this way. Patients may have to lift up their legs on a daily basis and use compression garments so that veins are relieved from pressure. An ultrasound is performed to evaluate how Endovenous Laser Treatment is working and see if other procedures may be necessary to continue treating varicose veins, such as phlebectomy or scelotherapy of other veins.
Though ELT has been proven safe, patients who seek Endovenous Laser Treatment should contact a qualified physician to achieve desired results. .