Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) is a laser procedure used to treat varicose veins, the twisted bulging that causes discomfort and embarrassment results from faulty valves in the veins. As blood flows through the veins to the heart, stop valves are supposed to prevent the blood from flowing backwards as gravity pulls it down. If the valves don’t close properly, blood pools in the vein, forcing the walls to enlarge and bulge out.

When is the procedure recommended?

EVLT is often used to treat large, bulging veins in the legs both above and below the knee. Saphenous veins, which are some of the larger, deeper veins in the leg, are especially responsive to EVLT. The treatment is also used to help relieve varicose vein symptoms such as ulcers, swelling and achiness.

How is the procedure performed?

EVLT is a quick, minimally invasive laser procedure that leaves no scar. The treatment takes less than one hour. The interventional radiologist uses ultrasound to map out your vein. Local anesthetic is then applied. Then a thin laser fiber is inserted through a tiny entry point, usually near the knee. Laser energy is delivered to seal the faulty vein.

Walking immediately after the procedure is encouraged. Normal daily activity can be resumed (excluding rigorous activities, such as gym workouts). There may be minor soreness and bruising. Any discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter non-aspirin pain relievers as needed.

What are the benefits?

  • Procedure provides a greater than 95% initial success rate and long-term results
  • Post-procedure, only 5% of people experience a recurrence of their varicose veins (within 5 years), compared to a 30% chance for high tie and strip operations
  • Short recovery time with a return to normal activities immediately after the procedure
  • Less invasive with little to no pain during or after the procedure
  • Minimal scarring with positive cosmetic results


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