Varicose veins affect many people throughout their lives but luckily a number of different treatments have been developed to treat this painful condition. Endovenous Laser Treatment or EVLT is a type of modern varicose vein treatment which uses lasers to seal off the leaking vein.
What Are Varicose Veins and How are they Caused?
Varicose veins is a condition that occurs when small valves in the vein stop functioning properly, causing the vein to become swollen and painful. These valves have the task of pumping blood back from the extremities such as the legs and feet, towards the heart. They are working against gravity, which means that they have a hard task to perform and a large amount of pressure against the veins can cause the valves to become weaker. When this occurs, blood pools in the skin, causing a blueish colour as well as pain and swelling in the area. Varicose veins are common in the legs, because the force of gravity is harder to work against for these valves, when compared to veins in the arms and face.
This condition is usually more common in elderly people, because vein stiffening and weakening is a natural part of ageing. Pregnancy is another cause of varicose veins, due to the doubling of the pregnant woman’s blood volume, combined with the weight of the fetus and placenta pressing down into the pelvis. This puts more pressure on her venous system, and varicose veins can form in the legs quite quickly. Another at-risk group is sedentary people, as the blood becomes thicker and flows more slowly when a person is inactive. As a result, the valves inside the veins have to work harder to push this thicker blood back up to the heart.
Varicose veins are usually painful and can discolour the skin around the vein. They may also be itchy and have a general feeling of pressure against the leg. These types of veins can develop into deep vein thrombosis or blood clots, and should be treated as early as possible. There are a number of different treatment options available on the market now, and EVLT is an increasingly popular one.
What is EVLT Treatment
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is a minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment process, with high success rates. The treatment is done ultrasound is used to determine which veins need to be treated, and a catheter is inserted into the vein using the ultrasound for guidance.
Then, a laser probe is inserted into the vein and local anaesthesia is used on the varicose vein site to reduce pain in the surrounding tissues. Once the laser probe is in and the anaesthesia has been administered, the laser can be used on the vein to collapse it and seal the leak. The laser works by damaging the vein walls, causing the vein to shrink and close, which stops it being used for blood going back to the heart.
Recovery from EVLT
Recovery from EVLT is usually simple and uncomplicated, and the patient can go into a clinic, have the treatment and walk back out within a few hours. Normally the surgery itself takes only 30-40 minutes. The patient can go home with bandages on their legs and painkillers to take, right after the surgery. Due to the fact that EVLT recovery is short and simple, this is a very popular treatment.
EVLT is an excellent option for smaller veins and people who are experiencing varicose veins for the first time. The treatment is 98% effective, and is well supported by research in both the UK and USA.
Varicose veins are something that many people will experience over the course of their lives, but treatment does not have to be complicated or difficult. Treatment options are increasingly available, and with minimally invasive approaches like EVLT, you can approach treatment with a positive outlook and confidence in your recovery.