Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What is EVLA?

EVLA stands for endovenous laser ablation. For years, patients suffering from varicose veins and other effects of venous reflux had few options for treatment, among them vein stripping or ligation. Now, EVLA is considered the gold standard. 

During the outpatient procedure, the physician uses imaging guidance to thread a small laser fiber into the vein at the failure location. Laser energy is then applied to the inside of the vein, “irritating” the vein wall and essentially sealing the vein closed. The vein eventually disappears and is no longer visible on the surface of the leg. Blood is diverted to the many other healthy veins in the leg, and there are no ill effects from the loss of the troublesome vein. 

An appointment for EVLA therapy takes approximately two hours. The procedure itself usually takes about forty minutes. A local anesthetic is used, although for most patients, the laser causes no pain. You should tell your doctor if any pain does occur, so that more local anesthesia can be administered.

You may resume most normal activities immediately after the procedure, and most patients can return to work the next day. Note that many physicians require you to have someone drive you home, so be prepared to have someone accompany you to your appointment, or to meet you after your procedure is completed.

If you would like to learn more about EVLA and whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, call Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen at the Vein Healthcare Center

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