What is EVLT?

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT), also known as Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), is a popular treatment for removing varicose veins. In this article, we will explain what is EVLT and how it compares to other minimally invasive varicose vein treatments including Radiofrequency Ablation.

What does EVLT treat?

EVLT is used to treat varicose veins. Patients report a wide range of symptoms from varicose veins including:

  • Achy, heavy, restless and swollen legs and feet.
  • Pain, itching or throbbing over a prominent vein.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Discoloured skin.

Treating varicose veins early can help to reduce the risk of more serious health complications including chronic vein insufficiency, and phlebitis.

How is EVLT performed?

During EVLT, your consultant will use an ultrasound to make a small puncture into the varicose vein, no bigger than 2mm, to insert a tiny tube through it (keyhole surgery). Local anaesthetic is then administered, and a laser fibre is inserted into the tube, causing it to heat up and close the problem vein. Blood flow is then naturally redirected through other, healthy veins, and the varicose vein is naturally absorbed by the body.

What are the key things to consider with EVLT?

  • Same-day recovery: this minimally invasive procedure takes approximately one hour and is performed in an outpatient setting, meaning you can return home on the same day as treatment.
  • Low-risk complications: you may experience discolouration, temporary bruising and a sensation of tightness during and after the procedure. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a similar treatment which is associated with fewer side effects and is the favoured approach of the Premier Veins team.

What other varicose vein treatments are there?

In order to make a well-informed decision on which varicose vein treatment is right for you, it is important to consider the other minimally invasive vein procedures on offer:

  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) – similar to EVLT, it uses heat to treat large varicose veins. RFA also takes less than an hour and is performed under local anaesthetic in an outpatient setting, however, it is generally preferred over EVLT due to fewer complications and more effectiveness (read on for further details below!).
  • Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapyuses a clever foam injection (called Fibrovein) and is performed under local anaesthetic in an outpatient setting, meaning you will return home that same day.

What is the difference between EVLT and RFA?

Although EVLT and RFA share many similarities, the key difference is that instead of a laser to seal the varicose vein shut, RFA uses radiofrequency energy. As a result, vascular experts generally consider RFA to be safer, less painful (both during and post-procedure) and has fewer complications than EVLT.

What next?

Now that you are aware of the different varicose vein treatments available, it is important to consider the extent of your condition, lifestyle and goals, in order to choose the right option for you. We recommend speaking to a qualified vascular consultant, like the ones we have here at Premier Veins, so that you can be confident in your decision. Whichever procedure you do opt for, the main “takeaway” is that treating your varicose veins is key in preventing further, more serious health issues, and that there are many options out there to suit you and your vein needs!

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Opening times:

Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 16:00

Give your legs a new lease of life

Book your FREE, no-obligation mini-consultation today

Clinic locations:

Birmingham

Solihull

Leamington Spa

Opening times:

Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 16:00