Varicose veins are swollen enlarged veins, usually affecting the legs and feet, which may be lumpy and often tortuous in appearance. They can lead to numerous symptoms including cramping pain, dry/itchy skin, leg swelling, burning or throbbing pain, as well as concerns about their cosmetic appearance. Fortunately there are a number of minimally invasive and surgical options available for the treatment of varicose veins.
In cases of symptomatic varicose veins where intervention is deemed necessary, Endo-Venous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is usually one of the primary interventions considered. People suffering with complications directly attributable to their varicose veins will typically see a good result following EVLT treatment.
In Endo-Venous Laser Therapy (EVLT), the vein is accessed via a small cut just above or below the knee. A catheter is then inserted along the length of the vein, followed by a thin fibre-optic laser wire. The laser wire is then slowly withdrawn, while the laser delivers small bursts of energy to close the vein off from the inside.
The procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance, and also involves the injection of a combination of saltwater and local anaesthetic which will help to keep the surrounding tissues cool and also provide a good level of pain relief during the procedure.
EVLT is a day-case procedure, so you will normally be home the same day. It may take a little while before you notice the benefits of treatment, and you will also be required to wear a combination of compression bandaging and stockings for a period of time after the procedure.
The risks of EVLT are relatively small, but the full risks and benefits of the procedure will be discussed with you fully prior to any intervention.
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