What to Expect from Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)

What to Expect from Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)

What to Expect from Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) 

Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is a modern, minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose veins. It has become a popular choice due to its effectiveness and relatively quick recovery time. Understanding what to expect from EVLT can help ease any anxieties and prepare you for the treatment process. This article will provide an in-depth look at the EVLT procedure, its benefits, and what you can anticipate before, during, and after treatment. 

Overview of EVLT 

Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) utilizes laser energy to treat varicose veins. The procedure involves inserting a thin laser fiber into the affected vein through a small incision. The laser emits energy that heats and seals the vein, causing it to collapse and eventually be reabsorbed by the body. This process redirects blood flow to healthier veins, alleviating symptoms associated with varicose veins such as swelling, aching, and skin irritation. The entire procedure typically takes about an hour and is performed in an outpatient setting, allowing patients to return home the same day. 

Key Benefits of EVLT 

1. Minimally Invasive 

One of the significant benefits of EVLT is that it is minimally invasive. Unlike traditional vein stripping surgery, EVLT requires only a small incision, reducing the risk of complications and scarring. 

2. High Success Rate 

EVLT boasts a high success rate, with many studies indicating success rates of up to 98%. This makes it a reliable option for treating varicose veins. 

3. Quick Procedure 

The EVLT procedure typically takes about 45 to 60 minutes, making it a convenient option for those with busy schedules. 

4. Minimal Downtime 

Patients can usually return to their normal activities within a day or two following the procedure. This minimal downtime is a significant advantage for individuals who cannot afford prolonged recovery periods. 

5. Long-Lasting Results 

Many patients experience long-lasting relief from varicose vein symptoms after EVLT. The treated veins are effectively sealed and reabsorbed, reducing the likelihood of recurrence. 

Preparing for EVLT 

Before undergoing EVLT, a thorough consultation with a vein specialist is essential. During this consultation, the specialist will: 

  • Review Medical History: Your doctor will review your medical history, current medications, and any previous treatments for varicose veins. 
  • Perform an Ultrasound: An ultrasound examination will help visualize the affected veins and determine the best approach for treatment. 
  • Provide Pre-Procedure Instructions: You may be advised to avoid certain medications and wear loose-fitting clothing on the day of the procedure. 

To ensure you are well-prepared, follow all pre-procedure instructions given by your healthcare provider. This may include avoiding certain medications and fasting for a specific period before the procedure. 

During the EVLT Procedure 

The EVLT procedure involves several steps: 

  1. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is applied to numb the treatment area, ensuring comfort throughout the procedure. 
  1. Ultrasound Guidance: Your doctor will use ultrasound to locate the affected vein accurately. 
  1. Insertion of Catheter: A small incision is made, and a thin catheter is inserted into the vein. 
  1. Laser Activation: A laser fiber is threaded through the catheter. When activated, the laser heats the vein walls, causing them to collapse and seal shut. 
  1. Completion: Once the vein is sealed, the laser fiber is removed, and a bandage is applied to the incision site. 

The entire process is carefully monitored using ultrasound imaging to ensure precision and effectiveness. Patients typically feel minimal discomfort during the procedure due to the local anesthesia. 

Post-Procedure Care and Recovery 

Recovery from EVLT is typically quick, with many patients returning to their normal activities within a few days. However, it is crucial to follow your doctor’s post-procedure instructions to ensure optimal healing and results. 

  1. Compression Stockings: You’ll need to wear compression stockings for a week or two to support the treated veins and promote healing. 
  1. Activity Level: Light activities can be resumed immediately, but strenuous exercise should be avoided for about a week. Walking is encouraged to promote circulation. 
  1. Follow-up Appointments: Regular check-ups with your doctor will ensure the treated vein is healing correctly and to monitor for any complications. 

Patients may experience mild discomfort, bruising, or swelling after the procedure, but these symptoms usually resolve within a few days. Over-the-counter pain medications can help manage any discomfort. 

Potential Side Effects and Risks 

While EVLT is generally safe, it is not without risks. Potential side effects include: 

  • Bruising and Swelling: Temporary bruising and swelling at the treatment site are common but usually resolve within a few days. 
  • Skin Burns: Rare, but possible due to the heat from the laser. 
  • Nerve Injury: In rare cases, nerve injury may occur, leading to temporary numbness or tingling. 
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Although rare, there is a small risk of developing DVT, a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. 

It’s essential to contact your healthcare provider if you experience severe pain, significant swelling, or any signs of infection following the procedure. 


Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is an effective and minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins, offering numerous benefits such as a high success rate, minimal downtime, and long-lasting results. By understanding what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, you can approach your treatment with confidence and ensure the best possible outcome. 

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