Varicose veins laser treatment (EVLT)

Varicose veins are veins whose valves, which operate as a  stopper to keep blood flowing forward, are not working properly or are missing.  The veins become filled with blood, swell, and can be extremely painful.

The endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) is a less invasive way to treat various veins. The vein is accessed percutaneously and an introducer is inserted into the vein. The laser probe is inserted through the introducer. Once inside the vein, the placement of the laser probe is verified using ultrasound and by visualizing the aiming beam. The laser is then slowly withdrawn as it emits energy. This laser energy seals the vein shut.

Varicose veins are veins whose valves, which operate as a  stopper to keep blood flowing forward, are not working properly or are missing.  The veins become filled with blood, swell, and can be extremely painful. 

When to recommend the procedure

There are many reasons why a doctor will recommend that a  person get varicose vein stripping:

  • Constant pain, throbbing, and tenderness in legs
  • Blood clots
  • (extremely) Painful veins
  • Skin sores and open wounds (ulcers)
  • Bleeding from veins
  • Consultation BSS clinic and Belgian hospital 

BSS will perform a preoperative examination to get a  good idea of what the cause of the varicose vein is and where the nonworking  valves are and take a few pictures of the to be treated leg(s).

Dr Robijn (our vascular surgeon) will mark the vein(s) that has to be removed before the surgery takes place and if necessary use a handheld ultrasound device that helps them  get a better view of the veins and their valves.

A duplex scan is another way for doctors to get a close-up view of varicose veins, especially in complex situations. The scan provides  detailed visual images of the vein and its blood flow.

VARICOSE VEIN LASER TREATMENT 
The LASER Procedure (EVLT)

The endovenous laser treatment is a 30-45 minute in-office procedure with no down time or scarring. Our surgeon will determine the particular treatment procedure that is most appropriate for the patient.

The vein is accessed percutaneously and an introducer is inserted into the vein. The laser filament is inserted through the introducer.

Once inside the vein, the placement of the laser filament is verified using ultrasound and by visualizing the aiming beam. The laser is then slowly withdrawn as it emits energy. This laser energy seals the vein shut.

All side branches will be removed by minimal incisions of about 1-2 mm.

Anesthetic

General anesthesia puts a patient to sleep throughout the  entire procedure. Spinal anesthesia, meanwhile, blocks the pain in the lower  part of the body, but the patient remains awake. Doctors will sometimes give  anti-anxiety medication to patients receiving spinal anesthesia in order to  ease any nervousness about the procedure.

Recovery

A person’s recovery time is usually between two to four weeks depending on how many veins were stripped and where they were located.  Most people will be released home on the same day, although there are some  occasions that the doctor will advise a patient to stay at the hospital  overnight.

Under normal conditions with the Laser treatment, patients may return to work within a week after the procedure.

Care

Doctors will usually prescribe two to three days of  painkillers to help with the discomfort after stripping treatment. In addition, patients should stay off their feet as much as possible for the first three to four days after surgery.  The legs should be elevated as much as possible when sitting during this time. After  four days have passed, people can remove the bandages. But you’ll still have to wear special stockings which will be provided from the hospital. For the next two weeks,  the legs should be elevated whenever you are in a seated position. By the  fourth week, most people can return to normal activities.

Once the Laser procedure is complete, a compression dressing is placed on the treated leg for 2 days followed by one week of compression stockings all the time. The next two weeks you just have to wear them during the day. Abstain from high impact activities such as running for a period of three weeks. Walking is encouraged, as it will aid the healing process.

Risks and complications

Vein stripping end EVLT are surgical procedures, and there are always  risks associated with all procedures. Although these risks exist, they are relatively rare, as  this is generally a safe procedure with minimal risks.

  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Temporary (severe) pain
  • Infection at cut site
  • Scarring
  • Nerve injury
  • Reoccurrence of varicose veins
  • Slight redness
  • Slight swelling
  • Hemosiolerose (over pigmentation of the treated skin)

The  following patients are usually told to avoid vein-stripping/laser procedures because complications are more common in people who fall under these categories.

  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with poor leg circulation
  • Patients with skin infections
  • Extremely obese people
  • People with blood clotting issues

Price

Our prices are all inclusive (taxi trips, hotel and hospital stay,…) and will be given to you by mail or at the consultation in our aftercare clinics in your home country.

  • 4 taxi trips between airport, hotel and hospital
  • 3 nights stay in a B&B hotel near the hospital for 2 people. This means you'll stay one night before and 2 nights after the procedure in the hotel
  • Your personal coach visits you the first evening in the hotel to explain the schedule, answer your questions, handle finances and you 'll receive his visitcard in order to reach him 24/7
  • Consultation with your surgeon in hospital during the morning before OR
  • Visit from your personal coach to give personal advice and addresses of our clinics in your home country if necessary (aftercare)
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