What is superficial venous reflux disease?
Superficial venous reflux is a condition where the valves in the veins become weak or damaged, causing blood to pool in the veins in the legs. This can cause symptoms such as leg heaviness, pain, swelling, fatigue, varicose and spider veins.
What is EVLA and how does it differ from vein stripping?
A vein stripping procedure typically involves making an incision in the groin through which the vein is tied off and then pulled out through a second incision in the calf. In the EVLA procedure, there is no need to surgically remove the vein. The vein is sealed closed using a thin laser fiber that is inserted into the vein through a small i.v. placed in the calf. The vein is left in place and once closed, will dissolve and be absorbed by the body within 6 months. This procedure is done under local anesthesia and eliminates much of the pain, bruising and down time associated with surgery as well as decreasing the risk associated with general anesthesia.
How does the EVLA procedure actually work?
The laser energy damages the walls of the vein, causing them to shrink and seal the vein closed. This prevents any blood from continuing to flow through the vein.
Will closing a vein down cause problems with circulation later on?
Elimination of backwards flow in the superficial veins of the legs actually improves circulation by preventing pooling of blood in these damaged veins. Closing down these veins will cause blood to be redirected in the proper direction through the healthy veins.
How soon after treatment will my symptoms improve?
Although it may take up to 6 months to experience the full benefits of the procedure, most patients feel a noticeable difference within the first few weeks after undergoing the procedure.
How effective is the EVLA procedure?
Endovenous laser ablation has a 98% success rate in closing down the damaged veins.
Is this procedure covered by insurance?
Most insurance companies cover the EVLA procedure based on medical necessity. Many also cover subsequent sclerotherapy for smaller veins to complete your treatment plan.
What is the recovery period like after EVLA?
Since the procedure is minimally invasive, the recovery is fairly quick and easy. There is some mild soreness and bruising that can last up to several weeks and can be managed with over the counter anti-inflammatories. After the procedure, patients are encouraged to walk and can resume their normal activities with a few mild restrictions.
What are the benefits of EVLA?
The benefits of this procedure include significant relief from discomfort, more efficient blood circulation and improving the overall health and appearance of your legs.
Dr. Lisa Perez
Be proactive about your circulation and prevent further damage to your legs by having them evaluated for venous disease.