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EVLT: A guide to our laser treatment for veins

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At Benenden Hospital, we’re the largest provider in England for varicose vein removal (PHIN 2023), so you can put your trust in our private vascular service.

We understand that older methods of varicose vein removal such as stripping, can put patients off seeking treatment, however, we’ve put together a guide to our Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) to ease your biggest concerns.

Do you need EVLT for your veins?

Your Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Mr Aaron Sweeney, will examine your varicose veins and depending on their type, size and the impact they’re having on your quality of life, they’ll recommend the correct treatment for you.

Did you know that approximately 85% of people with varicose veins are suitable for EVLT? EVLT was recommended as the preferred surgical option for varicose veins by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) since 2013. If you have mid-sized or larger varicose veins, you may need EVLT.

How is EVLT performed?

Endovenous Laser Treatment is a minimally invasive day case procedure which is performed using a laser in under 30 minutes! Using ultrasound, your Consultant Vascular Surgeon will position an EVLT laser fibre into your varicose via a point on your skin.

The laser will generate heat, causing your vein to close and prevent blood from flowing through it. This shrinks and blocks your varicose vein to the point where your body absorbs it and it disappears naturally rather like a resolving bruise.

Is EVLT painful?

You’ve probably heard of older, painful varicose vein removal treatments such as stripping, but this isn’t used anymore.

If you choose treatment under local anaesthatic we do need to inject local anaesthetic around the vein. Most patients say this is less troublesome than a minor dental procedure. After your procedure, you might experience some soreness, bruising or tingling near the treated vein. Over-the-counter medications can be used to manage any pain.

What is the recovery time like?

It is sometimes nice to but not absolutely necessary take a few days off work after your EVLT procedure. Patients who work from home often go back to work the next day. You will walk-in and walk-out of the hospital, and should be able to walk a dog the following day. Two weeks post treatment, most of our patients can return to the gym.

The area of the procedure can often feel like a pulled muscle. You can fly whenever you like post EVLT but you will be a little sore, it is recommended that you wait a couple of weeks before flying. There is very little evidence that flying increases the risk of a DVT.

Recurrent varicose veins are common and occur in as many as 1 in 5 (20%) patients after previous treatments. The chances of a new varicose vein occurring increases over time (NHS Foundation Trust).

Book your appointment with us to make the right decision for you

There are many ways to book and pay for your varicose vein treatment journey.

If you self-pay for your treatment, you may want to take advantage of our payment plans offered through our trusted partner, Chrysalis, and spread the cost of your treatment. Or if you have private medical insurance check with your provider to see if you’re covered.

It couldn’t be easier to book your initial consultation with one of our Consultant Vascular Surgeons – just use our online booking tool.

If you need more information on our varicose vein treatments, complete our online enquiry form, contact us using Livechat or call our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Published on 01 November 2023