Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is an effective minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins. Varicose veins are dilated veins in the legs that develop when valves in the veins become incompetent, leading to increased venous pressure in the thigh and calf veins.
The treatment is often done effectively as a day procedure where no hospitalization is needed. It can be performed under moderate sedation, avoiding the risk of General Anaesthesia (GA).
EVLT Proceedure in Singapore
Using sonography ultrasound guidance, the Long Saphenous Vein (LSV) is accurately identified from the groin to just below the knee. A thin tube (cannula) is inserted followed by a laser fibre so that it lies very close to the saphenofemoral junction. The length of the LSV is then moderately sedated, injected with dilute anaesthetic at several points in the thigh. Laser energy is used to “burn” the vein from the inside.
This will cause the vein to become inflamed and swollen and eventually form fibroses. There will be no more venous reflux once the vein is fibrosed. Multiple small (2 to 3mm) incisions over the dilated varicose veins in the calves to remove these fibrosis.
A short video on the EVLT procedure. (No sound)
Benefits of EVLT
1. No Hospitalisation necessary
The Endovenous laser treatment takes about fifty minutes overall. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after the procedure. Patients can resume their regular activities but should avoid excessive exertion and exercise for the first 2 weeks after surgery
2. No Scars
The ultrasound guided needles used in EVLT are very small. The skin will heal without leaving any scars. Tiny skin incisions can be made to achieve the best possible cosmetic outcome. Some patients choose to forgo this step as 60-70% experience a significant decrease in the size of their calf veins 6 months after the procedure.
3. Minimally Invasive
With the quick day procedure and tiny incisions, the EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure that offers immediate relief from the symptoms. This is an effective alternative to the painful, lengthy ligation and stripping procedure.
4. Safe and low recurrence
With a 98% success rate and no need for general anaesthesia, EVLT is much safer than surgery with less fear of complications. Local statistics show that the risk of recurrence after surgery is between 5-10% in 3 years.
5. Cost Effective
As EVLT is an outpatient procedure, you can save on hospital admission fees. If EVLT is done for medical reasons, many insurance providers will cover the cost of the treatment.
Following EVLT some discolouration of the thigh or transient bruising is to be expected. These signs are rarely troublesome and will rapidly heal. It is usual for a tightness sensation to develop in the treated area after about 48 hours. The sensation will pass after taking the often prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs.
It is often possible for the patient to return to work on the following day. Patients are advised to wear the compression garments such as stockings for the first 6 weeks after surgery for comfort. Here are some tips to prevent varicose veins from occurring again.
Find out more about Vein Diseases and EVLT options
Our doctor regularly conducts free public educational forums to give information about the various varicose treatments at his clinic in Singapore. Contact us now if you will like to be informed about the next forum or make an appointment with our doctor for a consultation.