It is said that if all the veins of the human body were laid out in a single line, it would stretch over 60000 miles. We don’t usually think of our veins or notice them unless an intravenous injection is to be administered or the person suffers from varicose veins. These veins are usually benign and can be described as enlarged veins that rise to the surface, and become prominently visible. The varicose veins can usually be seen on the feet and calves. For most people, it is simply a cosmetic problem but for others it can be the cause of pain and discomfort. The good news is that in either case, varicose veins can be treated.
EVLT refers to Endovenous Laser Therapy, which is also known as EVLA or Endovenous Laser Ablation. This is a type of laser therapy that can be used to destroy veins from within. The procedure is performed while the patient is under local anesthesia and hospitalization is not required. Know the steps in which it is carried out:
- The first stage involves mapping the veins and identifying the problem veins. A Duplex Ultrasound is usually used to create this map. It is important to note that this procedure cannot treat bulging veins on the surface of the skin. The veins that can be treated include the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV), Small Saphenous Vein (SSV) and their major tributaries.
- Once the veins have been identified a needle is inserted into the vein near the ankle or knee with the help of ultrasound controls. A wire is then passed into the vein and a long sheath is then passed to the top, and positioned with the help of the ultrasound.
- Ultrasound is again used to then inject local anesthetic into the area around the vein. This numbs the vein and surrounding tissue. The adrenaline in it also makes the vein contract, so as to fit the sheath perfectly. This technique is called ‘Tumescent anesthesia’.
- This is followed by passing a laser fiber inside the sheath and switching the laser on. The laser and sheath are then pulled back simultaneously so as to destroy the vein without damaging any of the surrounding tissues.
Once done, you should be able to get back to work and your normal lifestyle, the day after the surgery. But it is advisable to take good rest for few days, before you get back to your regular routine. Your doctor may advise you to wear compression stockings for up to 2 weeks. You should also avoid letting your legs come in contact with water. To avoid getting varicose veins in future, exercise regularly and have a balanced diet to control your weight.