Varicose veins are a problem for many people, both men and women, as they can be unsightly and damage body confidence while also having a number of associated health issues. Thankfully, there is a safe and effective treatment: EVLT (Endovenous Laser Therapy), also referred to as EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation) treatment. Here is a description of what happens during the treatment from the consultation to the after-care.
The Initial Consultation
During your initial consultation, your varicose veins will be properly assessed to determine the exact treatment required. The surgeon will take an ultrasound to see how your veins are working and to map them accurately. This scan is worth over £350 but will be a free part of the consultation. You will discuss with your surgeon the treatments available and be given a full pricing plan with all the details. A Patient Coordinator will also be present to help with questions and guide you through the process.
The treatment selection for you will be dependent on the size and type of varicose veins you have: from large veins to the tiniest thread veins, there is a suitable treatment for every type of varicose vein. The aim of the consultation is to find out your specific problem and tackle the cause of your varicose veins. The consultation is performed with the utmost discretion and professionalism by a highly experienced surgeon.
What Happens During the Treatment?
EVLA treatment for varicose veins is done with a laser using a local anaesthetic in around 45 minutes, which means you can come for your treatment and go home the same day. The procedure used is approved by the NHS. An ultrasound is used to find the location of the vein. After this, a local anaesthetic will numb the area and a fine probe is inserted into the vein through a small incision. The vein is then heated in short pulses to close the varicose vein and prevent blood flowing through it. This is totally safe as the varicose vein is not needed because deeper veins take over the job of circulating the blood through this area of the body.
Sclerotherapy is an alternative treatment for very small veins which are too tiny for traditional EVLA treatment. In this instance, a liquid of foam chemical is injected into the veins to make them close and cut off the blood to the vein. This is useful for treating spider veins and takes less than 30 minutes with no discomfort. Thread veins can also be dealt with using microsclerotherapy, which is a similar procedure to sclerotherapy but on a smaller scale.
Finally, phlebectomy is another alternative which removes varicose veins on the very surface of the leg using tiny incisions. Local anaesthetic is always used and no stitches are necessary with this procedure as the incisions are so small.
For spider veins, a procedure called CoolGlide can be used. This involves intense light directed at the vein to coagulate the blood in that site. The blood then passes through other deeper veins instead, and the unsightly spider veins close up.
Results and Aftercare
The results of all the treatments are permanent, and you will be able to see the difference to your skin immediately. There might be some swelling or bruising in the area after the treatment, especially for the slightly more invasive EVLA, but this will subside within a couple of weeks and the full extent of the improvement will be obvious with your clear skin free from varicose veins. Bandages will have been placed around the site to aid healing and recovery, keeping the skin covered while it repairs. However, these will soon be removed on your aftercare visit, and you will be able to see the results clearly.
You can recommence your daily activities immediately after treatment for small varicose veins, while a rest might be in order while the swelling dissipates for larger varicose vein removal. Flying is not recommended for three to four days after treatment.
With a success rate of over 95%, patients are nearly always thrilled with the results of their varicose vein treatment. Once the veins are removed, patients feel more comfortable with their bodies and can wear the clothes they like without self-consciousness in addition to avoiding health complications from varicose veins.