Endovenous Laser Therapy, also known as Endovenous Laser Ablation, is a procedure for varicose vein treatment whereby the vascular surgeon places a fiber or catheter inside the vein. The fiber transmits a laser into the vein, which is used to treat vein reflux and varicose veins.
How does this method work to treat varicose veins? Let’s begin by understanding what causes varicose veins. It is important to understand that blood flows in one direction throughout veins. The artery system sends oxygenated blood throughout your body, and it is the job of the veins to return the deoxygenated blood to the heart, to begin the process again. This is known as the cardio-pulmonary system.
As blood flows through the veins, a series of one-way valves close to keep the blood flowing toward the heart, and make sure the blood doesn’t reverse direction. If the vein walls or valves become weakened, they begin to function poorly at their job of preventing the blood from flowing in one direction. Varicose veins typically occur in the superficial veins of the legs, where gravity makes it even more challenging for weakened valves to push blood back up to the heart. The result is that some blood back flows and remains pooled around the weakened valves, causing the visible swelling that is characteristic of varicose veins.
Another way to visualize this process is to imagine a river that had streams branching off of it. If something were to block the river, some of the water would stay pooled at the site of the blockage, causing water to also backup into the streams, causing water levels to swell and rise.
There are many factors that can contribute to the weakening of the veins that causes varicose veins: heredity, pregnancy, obesity, diabetes or excessive strain are some of the major causes.
Now that we understand what causes varicose veins, how does inserting a catheter fitted with a laser inside the vein work to solve the problem? Quite simply, the laser heats the vein, causing it to collapse. As the catheter is withdrawn, it closes or cauerizes the damaged vein completely. Once the vein is closed, blood flow simply redirects past the site of the closure. Varicose veins disappear, since the blood is no longer back flowing and pooling in the area.
Endovenous laser therapy is performed while the patient is under local sedation for comfort. The laser is image guided, meaning the doctor can see and direct precisely where the laser will go.
EVT is also used to treat sores or ulcers, as well as phlebitis, which is venous swelling.
Using endovenous laser therapy for varicose vein treatment is minimally invasive, and patients can go home and return about their normal business on the same day as the procedure.
It is important to choose a vascular surgery center that is experienced and highly trained, with state-of-the-art equipment. San Diego Vascular Center patients are not all from San Diego County; many travel from nearby Orange County and Riverside area for varicose vein treatment and spider vein removal.
We specialize in diagnosis and treatment for any and all vascular health issues for patients in San Diego County, Orange County and Riverside County. For more information or to set an appointment, please contact us.