Endovenous Laser Therapy
Most patients with varicose vein disease will be found to have significant reflux, or leaking valves, in one or both of their saphenous veins. The Greater Saphenous Vein (GSV) is located on the inner surface of the leg, coursing from the groin to the ankle. The Lesser Saphenous Vein (LSV) is located on the posterior (back) surface of the lower leg, extending from the knee crease to the outer surface of the ankle.
When the GSV or the LSV is found to be the cause of varicose veins or venous ulceration, closure of these veins can treat a patient’s symptoms. Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is a minimally invasive technique that uses laser energy to damage the inner surface of the saphenous vein, causing it to scar close in the days after the procedure. EVLT is performed in Mid-Atlantic Surgical Group’s office, often in less than 30 minutes.
EVLT successfully closes incompetent saphenous veins with minimal discomfort and a quick recovery.
In our office procedure room, after applying local anesthetic, the laser catheter is inserted into the saphenous vein under ultrasound guidance.
The catheter is then guided to the beginning of the diseased vein. Once the laser is properly positioned, dilute local anesthetic is placed around the vein for comfort and to compress the vein around the laser catheter. After this tumescent anesthesia is instilled, the laser is turned on and the catheter is slowly withdrawn, allowing the laser energy to affect the entire length of the leaking saphenous vein.
Once the procedure is completed, the patient’s leg is compressed with a fitted compression stocking that will be kept on for 7 days. This period of compression allows the injured saphenous vein to scar closed. Patients frequently can resume work within 1-2 days after the procedure with minimal discomfort. Walking activity and mobility are encouraged immediately after the procedure is completed.