Patients who visit our Houston vein center are often pleasantly surprised at the number of options now available for treating varicose veins. Our endovenous laser treatments are a popular and effective therapy for eliminating these unwanted vessels.
Overview of Endovenous Laser Treatments
One procedure that destroys varicose veins is endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). It eliminates vessels, primarily on a patient’s thighs or calves, by directing laser heat into the veins, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. When conservative therapies such as wearing compression stockings cannot cause sufficient improvement, a Houston vein specialist often recommends destroying troublesome vessels using EVLT.
Healthcare professionals consider EVLT a safe, minimally invasive treatment, the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. reports. Undergoing it is much easier than having surgery and does not leave scars. Patients enjoy relief from a number of symptoms:
- Aching pain
- Irritated skin or ulcers
- Vein inflammation
- Discolored skin
EVLT Procedures in Houston
After an initial exam and discussion of a patient’s medical history, a vein specialist might recommend diagnostic tests to assess the full impact of vein disease. Once a patient gets approval to undergo EVLT, our Houston staff issues specific pre-procedure instructions. There is no need for hospital treatment.
Upon arrival for their Houston vein center appointment, individuals don a hospital gown and assume various positions on a table that tilts during the procedure. Patients need only a local anesthetic for EVLT, which takes only about 45 minutes to perform.
EVLT patients see four pieces of equipment:
- Ultrasound machine
- Radiofrequency electrode
Once the area around a targeted vein is numb, the vein doctor takes advantage of Doppler ultrasound to check the status of the vessel. This technology is useful throughout the procedure.
After making a small skin incision, the physician inserts a catheter with a laser fiber into the vein. While the specialist is slowly withdrawing the catheter, laser heat permeates the vein. This causes it to shut and fade over time.
Immediately after treating a vein, the specialist applies pressure to help prevent bleeding and covers the skin incision with a bandage. EVLT incisions require no sutures. Patients wear a compression stocking on the treated leg to reduce tenderness and bruising.
Our Houston staff encourages patients to begin walking soon after an EVLT session. Any bruising that does occur usually fades within about two weeks. Patients can resume their normal activities right away except for traveling by air. They should also avoid any activity that requires an extended period of remaining seated.
Houston-area patients are pleased with the effectiveness and convenience of EVLT. However, as is the case with other therapies that eliminate varicose veins, EVLT cannot prevent new varicose vessels from developing. Patients sometimes opt to return to our Houston center periodically to treat any new varicose veins.