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Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)

Endovenous laser ablation is the most effective treatment for varicose veins.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) has the lowest recurrence rate compared with vein surgery or Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS).

Endovenous laser treatment uses a laser fibre which is inserted into the vein and passed up to the groin where the abnormal valve is. The varicose vein is surrounded by local anaesthetic. The laser is turned on and slowly withdrawn to permanently seal the Varicose Vein.

At Palm Clinic we use the Cooltouch CTEV laser for varicose veins. This is an ND:Yag 1320nm laser which targets water in the vein wall. Local anaesthetic is placed around the varicose vein which collapses the vein and the laser heats the vein wall forming a permanent seal. Initial studies have shown 100% closure of the treated veins at 6 months and 5 year studies indicate greater efficacy with endovenous laser treatment than with surgery or UGS.

After the main trunk of the varicose vein has been treated with the laser you are able to walk freely and return to work. A follow up appointment a day or two later may involve some Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy to tidy up residual branch veins not sealed by the laser.

Endovenous laser ablation is especially useful for large varicose veins but there is a requirement that the vein is straight in the thigh or upper calf component – this can only be ascertained with a Duplex ultrasound examination which is performed before treatment. For those patients who are unsuitable for endovenous laser treatment we use Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy. Click here for a full description of Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy; this proven technique was pioneered in New Zealand by Dr John Barrett at Palm Clinic.

Dr John Barrett is Chairman and a Foundation Fellow of the Australasian College of Phlebology and with four other phlebologists runs the busiest Vein Clinic in New Zealand. We have performed well over 2000 EVLA cases since 2004 and over ten thousand legs have been treated non surgically with either EVLA or UGS.

Varicose vein treatment with Endovenous Laser Ablation is covered by medical insurance when medical necessity criteria apply. Palm Clinic is an affiliated provider to Southern Cross Healthcare and is also covered by Tower, Unimed and most other insurers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Endovenous Laser Ablation?

Endovenous laser treatment for varicose veins uses a laser fibre which is inserted into the varicose vein and passed upto the groin where the abnormal valve is. The vein is surrounded by local anaesthetic. The laser is turned on and slowly withdrawn to permanently and painlessly seal the varicose vein.

What are the benefits?

Endovenous laser ablation is especially useful for large varicose veins but there is a requirement that the vein is straight in the thigh or upper calf component – this can only be ascertained with an ultrasound examination which is performed before treatment.

Can I use my medical insurance?

Endovenous laser treatment for varicose veins is covered by all major insurers including Southern Cross, Sovereign, Tower, Unimed and others. Palm Clinic is an affiliated provider to Southern Cross Healthcare - medical necessity criteria apply.

Is Endovenous Laser the best treatment for Varicose Veins?

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) is in our opinion the best treatment for varicose veins and has rapidly replaced surgical treatment of varicose veins in the USA and Australasia and most other parts of the world.  It has excellent efficacy with greater than 95% closure at five years.  The advantages other than it's excellent efficacy are the walk in/ walk out nature of the treatment, no need for general anaesthetic or sedation, no scars and the ability to return to work the same day.  EVLA is often combined with UGS for the branch varicose veins.