Increasingly, varicose veins are being treated using minimally invasive endovenous procedures, such as Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), also called Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) and Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA). For EVLT and RFA, an ultrasound is performed of the affected vein and then under ultrasound guidance, a catheter is inserted into the varicose vein.
The varicose veins are then coagulated from the inside using laser light or radio waves. Because during these procedures, the veins are occluded by heat, these two methods of treatment are called thermal procedures or thermal techniques. State-of-the-art protective measures prevent the occurrence of unwanted thermal damage and burns.
These procedures can be carried out as an outpatient procedure, using tumescent anesthesia, which is a special form of local anesthesia. Although thermal procedures are relatively safe methods of treatment, they could have possible side effects. The treatment and the tumescent anesthesia can cause bruising, hematomas, and temporary discoloration around the site of the treated varicose veins. However, these changes usually resolve soon after treatment.
There could also be pain experienced after treatment, to a greater or lesser extent. In addition, there could be temporary hardening and inflammation around the treated vein. The risk of burning the skin and the risk of nerve damage are very real risks. You should consult with your vascular surgeon as to whether these procedures are right for you and the risks involved. In this article, we’ll compare two different thermal procedures…EVLT versus RFA…So, here goes…
A bird’s-eye view of EVLT
- EVLT is a minimally invasive endovenous procedure to treat varicose veins.
- EVLT uses a laser fiber to apply heat to the vein through a thin, flexible catheter, which ablates and destroys the affected vein.
- Success rates are almost 98 percent, which compares favorably with surgical techniques.
- EVLT is indicated in patients who have varicose veins with symptoms.
- EVLT is also indicated in patients who have circulatory problems due to chronic venous insufficiency.
- EVLT can also be indicated in patients who cannot undergo surgery due to certain conditions or complications.
- EVLT takes only about an hour to perform.
- EVLT requires just one small incision.
- You can resume normal activities immediately after the EVLT procedure.
A bird’s-eye-view of RFA
- RFA is a minimally invasive endovenous treatment for varicose veins.
- This technique uses radiofrequency energy instead of laser energy to heat up and damage the wall inside the varicose vein, closing off the vein.
- Success rates are between 95% and 98%, with far fewer complications than vein stripping surgery.
- Due to the low temperature used to heat the affected vein, discomfort after RFA is minimal.
- Significantly fewer patients complain of discomfort and pain following RFA.
- After the RFA procedure, patients are encouraged to begin walking immediately.
- Normal daily activity can be resumed right away, except for rigorous activities, such as gym workouts.
- There could be minor soreness and bruising, which can be treated with over-the-counter, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication. However, before taking any medication you need to consult with your vascular surgeon.
Points to keep in mind after the endovenous treatment
- As with all endovenous treatments, the results will not be visible immediately. It makes take several days for your body to break down the diseased veins.
- After endovenous treatment, you should walk briskly for about 20 to 30 minutes each day in order to activate the blood flow through your veins.
- For a few weeks after endovenous treatment, you should wear a compression stocking or bandage.
- You can go back to work quite soon after the procedure.
- You should not take part in any strenuous sporting activities, such as intensive jogging or football, for the first two weeks after treatment.
- You should avoid long hot baths or showers, the sauna, or prolonged sunbathing after treatment.
- You should avoid long journeys by train, bus, or car for the first two weeks after treatment. You should especially avoid long-haul flights.
- You should regularly attend your follow-up exams post the endovenous procedure. You should certainly consult with your doctor if your leg is very painful or if you notice any untoward symptoms.
- You should also consult with your doctor regularly even if you have no symptoms and ask him to clarify any doubts or answer any questions you might have following the endovenous treatment.
Every patient is different and each patient needs to have a different, holistic treatment plan formulated just for them. Also, it is important that you consult with the right doctor for these thermal procedures to treat your varicose veins.
Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala, of the Flow Vascular Clinic, is one of the best vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists. He is based in Hyderabad, India has treated thousands of cases using EVLT, and is an expert in thermal procedures and techniques. He will treat you as an individual and not just as another case. He will work closely with you right from the first consult and will draw up a customized treatment plan just for you.
Not only is Dr. Sandhyala extremely skillful and adept at performing thermal procedures to treat varicose veins, but he is also an extremely empathetic doctor. He will completely understand what you are going through and will patiently answer any and all questions you may have regarding your condition and your treatment. So, if you have varicose veins that need to be treated with thermal procedures and techniques, do consult with Dr. Sandhyala for the best possible outcome!
For more information about EVLT and RFA, as well as the treatment for DVT, or other vascular conditions, contact Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala at (+91) 9989649498 or 9959033037, or at email@example.com or visit our website at www.drabhilash.com