Endovenous Laser Therapy

What is endovenous laser ablation therapy?

Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLA) is a non-invasive or keyhole method of treating painful, swollen, or unsightly varicose veins without surgery. Instead of cutting, tying and removing the abnormal veins, they are heated from the inside using laser energy. Performed with a local anaesthetic, EVLA is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser heat to destroy varicose veins.

The laser energy heats the vein to a temperature at which the vein closes and is cauterised. All the living cells that make up the vein wall are sterilised and the vein cannot recover, regrow and rejoin. Over the course of a few weeks the body then naturally absorbs the vein and when the treated area is examined with ultrasound a few months after treatment, the abnormal vein has almost completely disappeared, there is just a small amount of scar tissue. 

EVLA achieves a better outcome than surgical tying and stripping without the need for major surgical cuts and painful removal under general anaesthetic. EVLA can be carried out in a simple treatment room rather than an operating theatre. In addition, after EVLA, unlike surgical stripping there are no “raw ends of living vein” that can regrow or rejoin. The risk of veins coming back after EVLA is much lower than with surgery or foam.

EVLA is the preferred surgical option for varicose veins by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as opposed to invasive vein stripping surgery or Foam.

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