Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT or EVLA) is a new method of treating varicose veins and saphenous vein incompetence without surgery that has become very popular as a minimal invasive alternative to classic surgery. This endovenous technique has evolved quickly in the past 10 years and nowadays in the countries where reimbursement is available the vast majority of patients are treated with laser ablation. Laser is a common tool available to vein specialists when treating spider and large varicose veins that transmits through fiber probe an intensely focused beam of light to heat up the problematic vein by cauterizing the inside of the vessel and causing it to collapse. Effectiveness of this procedure is high, with fewer complications and side effects compared to the traditional surgical approach.
EVLT is performed under ultrasonographic guidance and local anesthesia using subcutaneous catheter placement. A laser fiber is inserted into the damaged vein, usually through a needle and tumescent liquid is injected around the target vein. Thermal energy or heat is then delivered causing irreversible destruction of the internal lining of the vein wall. Patients complain of little pain or no pain and discomfort and usually are able to walk immediately after the treatment and return to work the next day. Graduated compression with elastic stocking is placed on the leg at the end of the procedure for a short period of time.