EVLT – Endovenous Laser Treatment at RCI
What is EVLT?
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is a quick, minimally invasive laser procedure for patients who suffer with painful and unsightly varicose veins. This technique has shown a 98% success rate and offers major advantages compared to alternative treatments.
Who is a candidate for EVLT?
RCI’s interventional radiologists will help you determine if you will benefit from EVLT. During an initial consultation, our physician carefully examines your medical history and veins, maps out problem areas, and may even recommend an ultrasound to rule out any deeper issues. If it is determined that you are a candidate for the procedure, a more detailed ultrasound will be scheduled prior to performing the procedure.
How do I make an appointment for EVLT at RCI?
Looking for EVLT in Cedar Rapids? Turn to RCI’s Vein & Interventional Clinic. To receive an informational packet or to set up your initial consultation appointment, please call:
RCI Vein & Interventional Clinic: 319-261-0636
Toll Free: 800-747-0121
What can I expect?
EVLT is a procedure that takes about 45 minutes. However, the entire appointment will last around 2 hours. EVLT uses laser energy delivered in a thin fiber-optic probe to treat the underlying cause of the varicose veins. Performed under ultrasound guidance, the procedure uses strictly local anesthetic.
Prior to the procedure, you will be given a mild sedative to help you relax. No IV is required—you will be awake and comfortable for the procedure. We will mark your vein using ultrasound and prep you for the procedure. During the procedure, the area of the leg affected is locally anesthetized or numbed using Lidocaine, and a small catheter is inserted. You will then be injected with a diluted solution of Lidocaine along the vein from the injection site to the groin area. Next, a thin laser is inserted into the catheter and pulled down the saphenous vein to the injection site. This may take 1-3 minutes depending on the length of the vein. Your body will naturally use other healthy veins to return blood to the heart. The laser is then withdrawn from the body and a small dressing will be placed on your insertion site. We will put the compression hose on you and then you may get dressed. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes.
Early results have been extremely favorable with success rates as high as 98%, without the complications of surgery. EVLT will normally treat the cause of most varicose veins—however, in some cases patients may require additional therapies or procedures to complete the treatment plan. Often this additional treatment is sclerotherapy, which is also available at the RCI Vein & Interventional Clinic.
After your EVLT at RCI
Directly following your procedure you must NOT take off the compression stockings or the dressing for the first 24 hours. This is to aid healing and decrease swelling. After 24 hours, you may remove the stockings and dressing to bathe and sleep. However, you must wear the stockings at all other times for the next 2 weeks. You may resume normal activities after your procedure, but may not engage in any strenuous activities, heavy lifting, or fly in any aircraft for 2 weeks. If you experience pain or discomfort, you may take Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Soreness may disappear after 24 hours. Mild soreness may last 7-10 days. About 5-8 days after the procedure you may feel tightness or pulling along the treated vein—this is normal and will typically go away in 2-3 days.
To evaluate the success of your procedure, you will be scheduled for a follow-up clinic visit and ultrasound 4 weeks after your procedure.
All of our interventional radiologists are board certified by the American Board of Radiology with Certificates of Advanced Qualification (CAQs) in vascular and interventional radiology. They are members of the Society for Interventional Radiology (SIR).
For further information on these and other interventional radiology procedures, visit www.sirweb.org
RCI is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).