Westchester Sugery
Specializing in general and vascular surgery - minimally invasive, maximum results.
Specialty Orthopaedics

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation of the Saphenous vein is a minimally invasive, in office treatment alternative to the surgical stripping and ligation (see above). In this procedure the vein is sealed with thermal energy, instead of removing it. The outcomes are the same, but it does not require general anesthesia, or any skin incisions.

To ease the anxiety of the patient, intravenous sedation is used. The vein is mapped using ultrasound, and the skin at the decided entry point is anesthetized with local anesthesia. Under ultrasound guidance the vein is entered with a small needle. Then a small laser fiber, less than ½ mm, is inserted into the vein and guided to the top of the vein. The vein is then compressed with fluid to allow the laser fiber to engage the vein wall. Laser light is then continuously fired, causing the vein to collapse and seal shut. Many note an immediate relief of symptoms, with little or no pain.

A compression stocking is placed over the leg, and it remains in place constantly for the next three days. When showering, the compression hose is protected with use of a long plastic bag. After this initial phase, the compression hose is worn during daily activities for three weeks, allowing the patient to remove it at night before going to sleep.

The patient is encouraged to walk immediately, and is able to return to work the next day. Exercise routines may be resumed in a few days. For safety purposes, patients are asked not to fly for at least two weeks after the procedure.

Complications are rare, but may include thermal skin burns or transient numbness.

The success rate of the Endovenous laser procedure is equal to that of the ligation and stripping procedure, and is quickly becoming the new "gold standard" for the treatment of varicose veins.