EVLA treats major varicose veins previously treated by stripping surgery. With ultrasound guidance, a laser fibre is placed into the abnormal vein through a tiny incision. The vein is then numbed with local anaesthetic, and the laser activated as the fibre is slowly removed. This produces a reaction in the vein wall along the treated section, resulting in collapse and sclerosis of the vein wall with minimal discomfort.
The published success of EVLA treatment is between 95-98%, with far fewer complications than surgery. With the addition of EVLA to ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, it is expected that varicose vein surgery will be performed much less frequently in the future.
Most treatments are followed by the application of compression stockings, which must be worn for at least 1-3 weeks depending on the treatment provided. All patients are advised to walk regularly and when combined with the use of compression stockings, this largely assists with the success of treatment.