What is Laser Vein Removal?
Laser Vein Removal (commonly known as EVLA, Endovenous Laser Ablation, or EVLT, Endovenous Laser Treatment) is a treatment for removing varicose veins or thread veins using pulsed laser light. Different lasers can be used depending on the depth of the vein, but they all work by heating and this destroying the vein wall. The surrounding skin and tissue remains untouched but the treated vein collapses, and over the next 6 months the vein disintegrates. This isn’t detrimental to your body, as it simply reroutes blood through other veins.
Endovenous Laser Ablation is best suited for smaller, straighter veins as it can be difficult for the laser to pass through large or twisted veins, and is ideal for tiny veins that can be difficult to treat with sclerotherapy.
What is involved in Laser Vein Removal?
Laser vein removal takes less than an hour and is performed under local anaesthetic. The procedure shouldn’t cause pain but you may feel a mild stinging sensation on your skin, and the anaesthetic injections can also be uncomfortable. Some clinics anesthetise the skin as well as the vein.
A very fine laser fibre is inserted into the vein through a tiny catheter, and guided along it with the help of ultrasound imaging. The laser fibre delivers short pulses of energy into the vein to heat the wall and causes the vein to collapse, making your body reroute the blood flow in that area through alternative veins.
How long will it take me to recover from Laser Vein Removal?
After your laser vein removal, you may be asked to rest in a recovery room for an hour or so, and you will be given a compression stocking which you’ll need to wear for the next 1-2 weeks to help blood flow and reduce any aching or swelling.
Your legs may feel tight and there may be some slight reddening and swelling, but these symptoms will subside over the next few days. If you have had large leg veins treated then there may be some mild bruising, but this should be temporary too.
After a short rest you can return to work and normal everyday activities and your doctor will recommend that you walk after your procedure to aid blood flow and healing.
What are the risks of Laser Vein Removal?
Laser vein removal is generally a very safe procedure but does carry a minimal risk of thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the vein wall), nerve damage or numbness; these are usually temporary side effects and resolve on their own. There is also a risk of deep vein thrombosis or a burn in the vein or on the skin, but these side effects are exceptionally rare.
What is the cost of Laser Vein Removal?
Prices for endovenous laser vein removal range from £1600- £3000 per leg. Most clinics provide a discounted price if you have endovenous laser ablation on both legs at once, with fees ranging from £2000- £3700.