Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) is the procedure to treat the larger veins in the leg. The procedure uses laser energy to heat up and seal the inside of the vein, causing it to collapse permanently, then to be absorbed by the body.
Endovenous Laser Ablation is done in our local Pinellas Park office using local anesthesia. Your leg is cleansed and sterile surgical drapes are placed around your leg. Then a tiny needle is used to numb the skin. When the skin is numb a larger needle is inserted into the vein and then the thin laser fiber is placed inside the vein. More local anesthetic is injected around the vein. The laser energy travels through the fiber to the tip and heats the inside of the vein while the laser fiber is removed. At the end of the procedure your varicose vein has collapsed. We put a wrap on your leg and you are able to walk out of the office and return to normal activity the same day.
Frequently Asked Questions for EVLA
What is Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)?
It is a minimally invasive laser procedure performed in our clinic. It is a better alternative to the surgical stripping of years past. A thin laser fiber is inserted through a small catheter that is placed in the vein through a tiny opening. The laser fiber delivers heat to the vein wall, causing it to collapse and seal shut. Over time, it is absorbed by the body.
Can varicose veins return after treatment?
Current treatments for varicose veins have very high success rates. Over 90% of treated veins remained closed. Once the vein is treated, that vein will not come back. Over a period of years, however, more abnormal veins can develop because there is no cure for weak vein valves.
Will the procedure require any anesthesia?
We use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area prior to the procedure, much like your dentist. If you desire, the physician may give you a mild oral sedative to relax you.
How long does the procedure last?
The actual laser portion of the procedure takes approximately 15 – 30 minutes, though patients may spend 1 – 2 hours at the clinic due to normal pre- and post-treatment preparation.
Why can’t both legs be done on the same day?
We are limited to the amount of lidocaine (numbing medicine) that is used in the procedure. If too much is used, someone could have a reaction.
What happens to the treated vein left behind in the leg?
The vein simply becomes scar tissue and will gradually be absorbed by the body. Your body, naturally, reroutes the blood through the remaining healthy veins.
What happens to the blood flow if you close off my vein?
The vein being treated is abnormal and not working properly, making other healthy veins take up the extra burden. Once the diseased vein is closed, these healthy veins can work more efficiently and will essentially improve your circulation.
What if I need the vein for bypass surgery in the future?
Enlarged diseased veins will not be used for bypass surgery. Physicians will use only healthy veins from other areas of your body.
Do I need a driver?
If ANY oral sedation is taken, we will require that a driver is present to pick you up after the procedure. If you choose to have the procedure with no oral sedation, we will still ask that you have a driver when performing the procedure(s) on your right leg due to the numbing medicine that is injected into the leg. You may have some mild numbness for an hour or two, and we will not want you to drive. If you have no one to drive you, we will ask that you stay for a couple of hours and allow the numbing medicine to wear off prior to you driving or we will provide a taxi for you. If you choose to have the procedure with no oral sedation, and we are performing the procedure on your left leg, you may choose to drive yourself.
How quickly can I resume normal activity, (i.e. work, exercise)?
Patients are walking immediately following the procedure, and typically, resume normal activities within one day. We recommend that you stay active with a walking regimen of two 20-minute walks a day to avoid any complications. You may continue exercise classes and gym routines, as long as it is not strenuous. Don’t work through any pain (discomfort), but allow it to be your guide. You may need to take it easy for a day or two. You do not want to undo what we have done with the laser.
How long do I have to wear compression stockings?
For 10-14 days after treatment, we recommend wearing gradient compression stockings which offer the greatest amount of pressure. Compression stockings put helpful pressure on your veins. You will need to be fitted for them at our office. You cannot wear them too much.
Are there travel restrictions?
Dr. Bowers does not want you to travel for 10 days after an EVLA if you will be seated for an extended period of time. Otherwise, you will need to wear your compression stockings while traveling. If traveling by car, stop and walk every 90 minutes or so. If traveling by plane, walk hourly, if possible.
Medicare Coverage for Varicose Veins Treatment and Laser Vein Removal
Medicare and most other health insurance companies pay for vein treatment. You can’t afford to ignore your varicose veins!
Schedule your free consultation now and one of our insurance specialists will contact your insurance company to check benefits for treatment. Call (727) 632-3650 today! We accept the following insurance plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Mail Handlers
- Simply Health Care
- United Healthcare
Vein Specialist William Bowers, MD,FACS, RPVI, RPhS is the founder and Medical Director of Bowers Vein Institute in Pinellas Park, Florida. The Bowers Vein Institute is a cutting edge, state-of-the-art center that provides comprehensive care for patients with reticular, spider, varicose veins, and other venous diseases. The facility offers the latest in minimally invasive procedures that effectively eradicate veins without the need for traditional surgery. Above all else, the team at Bowers Vein Institute puts patient care first. This not only means ensuring that patients receive the effective vein treatment they need, it also entails providing a comfortable, friendly, and professional environment for each and every patient. The staff takes pride in adhering to these extremely high standards of patient care.
Restless Leg Syndrome?
Venous insufficiency not only causes varicose veins, it can be the underlying cause for many other conditions, including restless legs syndrome.