EVLA brings a new solution for varicose veins, but the NHS still favours traditional vein stripping surgery. How do the two approaches compare?
EVLA (endovenous laser ablation), also known as EVLT, is a treatment which uses laser to seal off the bulging and uncomfortable blue/purple veins. It offers 95% success rate and a relatively fast procedure with no overnight stay.
By comparison, vein stripping surgery often means a few nights in hospital and quite long recovery with extended wear of compression garments.
A study was published in the Archives of Dermatology 2011 and featured in WebMD, following 346 adults with varicose veins. 185 had EVLA treatment and 161 had vein stripping surgery.
The patients in the EVLT group reported having pain for an average of eight days after their procedures compared to 17 days in the HLS group.
The same report surprisingly showed broadly similar outcomes between the two approaches in terms of recurrence of the problem.
However, experts reviewing the study have said that because the study was started in 2004, it looked at an older laser technique and also used a less common local anaesthetic for vein stripping which may have enhanced the results of surgery. Other studies have been more clearly in favour of EVLA, which is now generally said to offer a success rate of 95%.
Tristan R.A. Lane, MBBS, a vascular surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital and a researcher at Imperial College London, told WebMD:
“I usually explain that endovenous laser ablation [EVLT] provides a very good option, allowing patients to walk out of the clinic and go back to work the same or next day. I also explain that one treatment does not fit all and so we always consider other treatment methods.”
Read more in WebMD.
EVLA is viewed as the gold-standards solution for varicose veins.
At private clinics such as Cosmedics’ London Vein Treatment Centre, EVLA is carried out on a day case basis and uses local anaesthetic. Recovery is very quick and patients are able to walk unaided to return home. There is no need for an overnight stay and patients can return to normal activities much faster.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer private varicose vein treatment including EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) laser varicose vein removal with a vascular surgeon with prices starting at £1,650 per leg (1 vein).
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For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.