What are the advantages of Endovenous Laser Treatment for varicose veins?

EVLT is a treatment for varicose veins that’s less painful than open surgery, allowing for a faster recovery and return to normal life. We use a local anaesthetic to perform the procedure, however EVLT can also be performed under general anaesthetic.

The procedure is an outpatient treatment and you'll be able to go home the same day.

How much does an EVLT procedure cost?

Guide price from £2,900 - one leg

Guide price from £4,100 - both legs performed bilaterally

I have a question about Endovenous Laser Treatment

What are varicose veins?

In a healthy vein, blood will flow smoothly to the heart and is prevented from flowing backwards by a series of tiny valves. Sometimes these valves will weaken or become damaged, allowing blood to flow backwards and collect in the vein. When this happens, the vein can become swollen and enlarged - causing varicose veins to form.

Why is Endovenous Laser Treatment used for varicose veins?

EVLT is a minimally-invasive laser treatment for painful or unsightly varicose veins. The treatment typically takes about 30-40 minutes, quickly removing varicose veins while minimising pain and recovery time.

Is EVLT for varicose veins safe?

EVLT was recommended as the preferred surgical option for varicose veins by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2013. The complication rates are the lower than for the old style ‘high tie and strip’ operation. We’ll make sure that all safety precautions are taken during the operation, including asking you to wear special glasses while your Consultant uses the laser.

Are my varicose veins suitable for EVLT?

Approximately 85% of people with varicose veins are suitable for EVLT, but your Consultant will discuss your suitability with you after assessing and scanning your varicose veins.

What happens during Endovenous Laser Treatment for varicose veins?

Using ultrasound, your Consultant will position an EVLT laser fibre into the diseased vein via a small hole in your skin. The heat generated causes the vein to close and blood is prevented from flowing through the vein which shrinks and fades; your body absorbs it and it disappears naturally.

What happens after my EVLT procedure?

After treatment, you should wear your bandages for five days before soaking them off in the bath. You can then wear a compression stocking which you should keep on for two weeks.

How long will I need to be off work after EVLT?

Studies suggest the average time off work after EVLT is three days, compared with 12 days after open varicose vein surgery. You should have recovered enough to drive a car after five days.

When can I go to the gym and start exercising after EVLT?

By two weeks after surgery, most patients are back to light exercise.

Will I need a follow-up after Endovenous Laser Treatment?

If, after six weeks, there are still small veins left in your calf, they can be removed by injecting them with a chemical in our outpatients department to improve the appearance of your leg. This is known as sclerotherapy.

How soon after EVLT can I fly?

Long haul flights (more than four hours) should ideally be avoided for four weeks after surgery.

Will my varicose veins come back after EVLT?

This used to be very common with the old ‘high tie and strip’ operation, where up to 30% of patients would get a significant recurrence after surgery.

Nowadays, after laser surgery, the risk of a recurrence is about one percent. However, there is about a ten percent chance of another vein on that leg - or the other leg - becoming varicosed over the following decades. But, for most people, EVLT resolves any problems with varicose veins.

How do I access Endovenous Laser Treatment at Benenden Hospital?

Self-paying patients

If you need treatment, but don’t want to wait, you can access EVLT quickly as a self-pay patient without needing a GP referral. Make an appointment by completing our online form or by calling our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Benenden Health members

If you’re a member of Benenden Health, please contact their Member services team on 0800 414 8100 to discuss your treatment. You’ll need a referral from your GP.

NHS patients

You should arrange to see your GP for a referral letter.

Varicose veins success stories

Amanda's EVLT surgery for varicose veins
Jo Crossey's EVLT treatment for varicose veins
Caroline Swan: a success for varicose veins surgery
Catherine Bayley's varicose vein surgery

Watch our varicose vein surgery webinar

Make the most of pain-free healthier legs with varicose vein removal. Join Consultant Vascular Surgeons Mr Eddie Chaloner and Mr Aaron Sweeney to find out more.

Mr Aaron Sweeney and Mr Eddie Chaloner
Read the transcript

Contact us

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.