Break out that little black dress.
Endovenous laser vein treatment is also known as endovenous ablation treatment (EVLT), and it uses lasers or radio waves to create heat to close off varicose veins. Vascular surgeon Dr. Laura Garvey at the Vein Center at MetroDerm will numb the area and make a tiny cut in the skin near the varicose vein to insert a small tube called a catheter. A device at the tip of the tube heats up the inside of the vein and closes it off. Patients are kept fully comfortable during this procedure and have the option of receiving sedation. Patients go home the same day as the procedure.
About the Laser Vein Treatment Procedure
Endovenous laser vein treatment uses laser energy, which is simply a highly concentrated beam of light to deposit energy in the vein wall and thus causes shrinkage and closure. In the hands of a skilled physician, lasers offer far less risk for complications than conventional surgery. During the procedure, a thin laser fiber is inserted into the damaged vein through pinpoint entry site in the skin. A laser light is emitted through the fiber as it is being pulled back through the targeted vein. The targeted tissue reacts with the light energy, causing the vein to close and seal shut. The closed veins only handle less than 5% of the body’s blood flow and are superficial. The blood is automatically routed to other healthy veins.
Benefits of Vein Ablation Treatment
If varicose veins cause few symptoms, Dr. Laura Garvey at the Vein Center at MetroDerm may simply suggest making lifestyle changes. If a patient’s symptoms are more severe, she may recommend one or more medical procedures to remove varicose veins or close them completely. Removing or closing varicose veins usually doesn’t cause problems with blood flow because the blood starts moving through other veins.
Suggested Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes often are the first treatment for varicose veins. These changes can prevent varicose veins from getting worse, reduce pain, and delay other varicose veins from forming. Lifestyle changes include the following:
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
- Avoid crossing the legs when sitting.
- Do physical activities to improve muscle tone.
- Lose weight if overweight (or obese) to improve blood flow and ease the venous pressure.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes, especially those that are tight around the waist, groin (upper thighs), and legs. Tight clothes can make varicose veins worse.
- Avoid wearing high heels for long periods. Lower heeled shoes can help tone calf muscles. Toned muscles help blood move through the veins.
- Compression stockings create gentle pressure up the leg. This pressure keeps blood from pooling and decreases swelling in the legs.
Each patient is unique; therefore, results of treatment will vary.