Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
Endovenous Laser Therapy is used to treat reflux induced venous insufficiency of the great and short saphenous veins as well as other selected veins. EVLT is an ambulatory minimally-invasive procedure. Initially, a small laser fiber is threaded through the length of the abnormal vein to be treated. Then, as this fiber is slowly withdrawn, the laser is fired delivering thermal energy (heat) to the vein walls. The induced localized damage causes the vein to close and disappear.
FDA approved in 2002, the use of EVLT has increased rapidly due to the numerous advantages it brings over the traditional vein stripping procedure. A prominent study in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology showed a better than 93% success rate after two years. These results are comparable or superior to other methods for treating varicose veins, including surgery, with lower complication rates while avoiding general anesthesia.