QUESTION: How does the procedure actually work?
A thin laser is inserted via a tiny entry point usually near the knee. Laser energy is then delivered to seal the faulty vein closed. Normal daily activities can usually be resumed and in fact we encourage patients to plan on taking a trip to the mall afterwards to do some walking and some shopping!
QUESTION: Is Venous Disease a hereditary disorder?
In a study involving 134 families, the risk of developing varicose veins was: 89% if both parents had varicose veins, 47% if one parent had varicose veins, and 20% if neither parent had varicose veins.
QUESTION: Is this loss of a vein a problem?
No. Once the diseased vein is closed, other healthy veins will take over and carry blood flow from the leg, re-establishing normal flow.
QUESTION: When should I be evaluated for venous disease?
If you experience symptoms of aching, pain, or swelling. If you are unable to tolerate compression stockings. If cosmetic improvement is requested. If there is a thickening or discoloration of the skin in the ankle region. If you have impending or active ulceration or bleeding veins. Please contact us for assistance.
QUESTION: What are the complications of this procedure?
VenaCure EVLA(TM), like all minimally invasive procedures, can potentially have some slight bruising, which commonly disappears within the first few weeks. With VenaCure EVLA(TM), you will feel a delayed tightness (or “pulling” sensation) 4-7 days after laser treatment which is normal and expected following a successful treatment.
All surgical procedures involve some element of risk and have the potential for complications. This should be balanced against the risk of complications if your varicose veins remain untreated. Other possible complications include eczema, skin discoloration and even severe skin ulceration which can be very difficult to treat.
Am I at risk from the laser?
You will be given a pair of special glasses to wear to protect your eyes, however this is just a precaution against accidental firing of laser energy outside the body.
QUESTION: What are the alternatives to this treatment?
Surgery (called ‘Ligation & Stripping’) is the traditional treatment, but it can be quite painful and often has a long recovery time. It is performed in a hospital, involves general anesthesia, leaves a scar, and has a fairly high recurrence rate (on average 10-25%).
Sclerotherapy has been used by some as an alternative but is generally only well suited for the smaller so called spider or reticular veins. It is generally considered unsuitable as a method of treatment for the larger “greater saphenous vein” that we treat here with the EVLA.
QUESTION: How successful is EVLA?
Clinical data with up to 5 years of followup show success rates of 93-98%. This is much higher than surgical ligation and stripping, radiofrequency electrosurgery, and injection sclerotherapy. Market researchers predict that, based on its superior efficacy and lower morbidity, endovenous laser treatment will soon become the new ‘gold standard’.
QUESTION: How much does it cost?
VenaCure EVLA(TM), when medically necessary (e.g., for relief of symptoms), is usually fully reimbursed by most carriers (including Medicare).
QUESTION: What does a Great Saphenous insufficiency mean?
Great saphenous inefficiencies occur when skin changes are seen along the medial or lateral aspect of the ankle. The presence of skin changes is a proven predictor of future ulceration.
QUESTION: What are symptoms of chronic Venous Disease? Let our vascular specialist help you with any questions you may have.
Aching, fatigue, heaviness in legs, pain: throbbing, burning, stabbing, cramping, swelling (peripheral edema), itching, restless legs, and numbness have been known to occur in cases of Venous Disease.