Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) is a procedure that uses laser energy to heat the vein and damage the vein walls, which creates scar tissue to close the vein. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to other healthy veins. EVLA is similar to radiofrequency ablation, and while it has been shown to cause slightly more pain to the patient during and after the procedure, the results are similar.
EVLA is performed in the clinic, in a sterile setting, under local anesthesia. You can go to back to work the same day, with very little downtime.
During the procedure, Dr. Afzal inserts a catheter into the vein through a small incision. Heat from the laser closes the vein as the catheter is slowly pulled out.
Similar to radiofrequency ablation, it is common to experience some bruising or aching in the areas treated after the procedure. Most patients have minimal discomfort and are able to continue with their daily activities. Less common side effects include local numbness from nerve damage and deep vein blood clots. In our practice the incidence is less than 0.1 percent, which is much lower than the national average.
Dr. Afzal performs more than 1,000 ablations per year. He also trains other doctors in the use of Vascular Solutions – the manufacturer of the laser ablation catheters – products. If you are considering endovenous laser ablation, you can count on our team’s knowledge and experience to get the job done right.
Dr. Afzal does prefer radiofrequency ablation (Venefit) over EVLA because the radiofrequency ablation procedure leads to less patient discomfort and earlier recovery with comparable results.