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EndoVenous Laser Ablation

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Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) is a treatment alternative to surgical stripping of the greater saphenous vein. A small laser fiber is inserted, usually through a needle stick in the skin, into the damaged vein. Pulses of laser light are delivered inside the vein, which causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. The procedure is done in-office under local anesthesia. Following the procedure a bandage or compression hose is placed on the treated leg. Patients typically return to work within a day or two.  Endovenous Laser Ablation is FDA-approved for the treatment of the great saphenous and other leg veins. Most insurance plans now cover EVLA for symptomatic varicose veins.

EVLA was originally used to treat Saphenofemoral Junction (SFJ) reflux, a condition in which the Great Saphenous Vein carries blood backward down the leg due to a damaged valve where it attaches to the Femoral Vein in the groin.  Prior to EVLA, surgical ligation and stripping was the best treatment available for this but has a recurrence rate of 66%!!  Studies have shown only about a 7 to 9% rate of recurrence 5 years after EVLA.  The other major advantages to EVLA compared to surgery are :



No pain. Local anesthetic.
No conciousness. General anesthetic.
No Scars or Stitches.
Several scars from surgical incisions closed with staples &/or stitches.
Little or no lost worktime.
One to four weeks off work or on light duty (varies with occupation).
Other large varicose veins treatable.
Great Saphenous Only.
15-20 minute walk immediately after the 1 hour procedure.  Immediate symptom improvement.
An hour or so in the Recovery Room, then home to elevate legs & control post operative pain.

Recurence rate for varicose veins within 5 years is 7 to 9 %.

Recurrence rate for varicose veins after 5 years is 66%!


Laser fiber is passed up into vein to proximal point of reflux (usually to the SFJ). The laser is turned on and fiber is slowly withdrawn, causing the vein to collapse and close behind it. 

For a detailed description of Vari-Lase EndoVenous Laser Ablation click here 
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