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Endovenous Laser Therapy

Endovenous Laser Therapy

Posted on June 22, 2021 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

Endovenous laser therapy is a safe and minimally invasive procedure that uses lasers and ultrasound to remedy varicose veins. Typically, this procedure is best suited to veins that are untwisted.

Instead of stripping the problematic veins, they are heat-treated with a laser causing them to shrink and collapse. And while there are several treatment alternatives, endovenous laser therapy is best suited to patients who want to eliminate large and stubborn varicose veins without going through an invasive procedure.

How Does Endovenous Laser Therapy Work?

Endovenous laser therapy uses heat from a laser beam to close and shrink the walls of varicose veins. Unlike surgical remedies, EVLT doesn't require general anesthesia. Instead, only a local anesthetic is applied to the treatment area to numb the tissues for the short procedure.

Typically, the vein specialist performs an ultrasound examination of the varicose veins to understand the varicosities better. Through a tiny incision on the skin, the doctor inserts a catheter into the vein. With ultrasound guidance, the laser catheter is guided along the length of the problematic vein, and the laser beam is used to heat-treat the vein. Naturally, your body will redirect the blood flow to nearby healthy veins, and the collapsed vein will disappear after some time.

Benefits of Endovenous Laser Therapy


1. Safe and Effective Relief from Varicose Veins

Several studies have reported that endovenous laser therapy is a safe and effective remedy for varicose and spider veins. In addition, the studies indicated that EVLT produced better results compared to traditional vein stripping. More so, the rate of recurrence was significantly lower after endovenous laser therapy.

2. Quick Treatment With No Downtime

Each treatment procedure can be completed in 30 to 60 minutes. And since the procedure is minimally invasive and relatively simple, patients don't need any anesthesia prior to the treatment. Patients can resume their daily activities on the same day after endovenous laser therapy treatment. In fact, patients are advised to stay active post-procedure.  With the appropriate exercise regimes, most people experience minimal post-procedure discomfort.

Potential Risks and Complications

Endovenous laser therapy treatment uses heat to treat problematic veins, and the body responds by inflammation of the vein's walls. It's normal to feel treated veins become tender and hard when you touch them. Also, veins attached to the treated vein can become hard due to blood clot formation. However, the clot is a normal response to the treatment, and the body absorbs it in a few weeks.

The nerve network is spread all over the body, and some nerves may lie alongside veins targeted for treatment. During the procedure, the nerves may become affected by the heat, and some patients may notice patches of temporary numbness on the skin. This issue usually resolves on its own in a few months.


While most varicosities may not be life-threatening conditions, the health complications of untreated varicose veins can be severe. Endovenous laser treatment will relieve the discomfort, discoloration, and bulging of varicose veins. However, it is prudent to consult an experienced vein specialist before deciding on a treatment procedure.

At Illinois Vein Specialists, we are committed to safeguarding our clients' safety, health, and satisfaction. Our vein doctor will discuss with you and examine your veins to determine if EVLT is the most appropriate procedure for your condition.

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Tagged Varicose Vein Treatment, endovenous laser therapy, spider vein treatment, varicose and spider veins, varicose vein