Endovenous Laser Treatment
The Ins and Outs of Endovenous Laser Treatment of Varicose Veins
Endovenous Laser Treatment, also known as ELVT, is a procedure that is used to treat the appearance and alleviate the symptoms associated with varicose veins.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are an extremely common condition that occurs when the vein walls and valves weaken, resulting in abnormal dilations of the affected veins. These are typically small, superficial veins and appear as red, blue or purple lines or webs across the legs (although they can appear elsewhere on the body as well).
More often than not, varicose veins are not dangerous, and do not have to be treated if the patient does not want to. They can, however, cause discomfort such as swelling, burning, itching or pain. They are also unsightly and can affect the self-esteem of a patient. It is also important to note that they can be indicative of a more severe underlying condition, such as deep vein thrombosis.
Where do varicose veins come from?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the appearance of varicose veins. Some of these factors include:
- A family history of the condition
- Sitting or standing for long periods at a time
- Heart failure or chronic lung diseases
- Prior injuries to the area
How does Endovenous Laser Treatment help treat varicose veins?
Endovenous Laser Treatment is used to close off affected veins, which stops the blood flow through that vein. This causes the vein to die off, while the body resorts to more efficient circulation through healthy veins as the patient recovers.
Endovenous Laser Treatment is performed under local anaesthesia, and is often used to treat patients who have greater saphenous vein incompetence and reflux at the saphenofemoral junction in the groin. It boasts a 95% success rate, and eliminates the need to strip the vein surgically. A needle is inserted into the vein using ultrasound guidance. A J-tipped guide wire is then inserted through the needle, after which a double Lumen 5 French catheter is inserted over the guide wire. The guide wire and inner catheter is then removed and a Micron Laser Fibre is inserted into the remaining catheter to administer the laser treatment.
Dr Stewart Gibson from The Gibson Vein Practice specialises in the advanced treatment of varicose veins, and has administered more than 20 000 successful treatments during his career to date. These treatments cover a range of solutions, including Endovenous Laser Treatment. Contact The Gibson Vein Practice for more information on this procedure, as well as related solutions, and to find out which approach is best for you.