Endovenous Laser Ablation

As you can see it is not necessarily a stressful procedure. We have had patients actually fall asleep !!

The laser therapy is one of the newest modalities for treatment of leg veins or varicose veins. Leg veins range from tiny, superficial "spider veins" to large, blue "varicose" veins which are blood vessels that are abnormally dilated, appear swollen, twisted and can be painful.

Endovenous Laser therapy will likely become the ‘Gold Standard’ option for treating peripheral venous incompetence. With the Endovenous laser method a laser fibre is guided into the vein though a small cannula till it reaches the site of abnormality. Once in place the vein is surrounded by a dilute local anaesthetic solution which protects any surrounding structures (giving the procedure an incredibly low risk of unplanned collateral damage). Then laser light is emitted though the optic fibre and this causes controlled heating of the vein from the inside out. The protein in the vessel wall blanches, contracts and eventually damaged blood vessels shrink and disappear. This procedure is often performed for larger varicose veins and the procedure can be performed in out-patient settings and takes 60 to 90 minutes. Note that only a few minutes of this time are actual laser treatment but like house painting – the success of the final job is related to the quality of preparation.

The advantages of the endovenous laser technology include:

  • Minimal pain and discomfort
  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Requires no hospital admission
  • No visible scars
  • Immediate relief from symptoms
  • Fast recovery
  • VERY high success rate measured at five years

Side effects are rare and we have never caused a serious one, but can they include bruising, nerve damage, DVT and rarely, blistering.

This procedure is useful in treating large varicose veins. Additional procedures such as phlebectomy or sclerotherapy may be used to treat small branched veins after ablation.