Why Endovenous Laser Treatment is better than Stripping surgery for treatment of Varicose Veins

If you are suffering from varicose veins, chances are that you may be confused about the treatment because some doctors have advised you to consider Stripping surgery whereas others are advocating Endovenous Laser Treatment.

Fortunately for you this is really not a difficult decision at all. Endovenous Laser Treatment has been around for close to 10 years now and about 90 good research papers has been published confirming the initial enthusiasm that EVLT is superior to Stripping surgery both in terms of ease of delivery and long term efficacy. I will list here all the advantages of Endovenous Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins.

  1. Minimally Invasive. EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure that can often be done in the office setting. Under local anesthesia, a small needle is used to gain access into the varicose veins and a fine Laser wire is inserted and positioned accurately under Ultrasound guidance. The wire is slowly withdrawn as pulses of laser are delivered to seal up the varicose veins. There is no need for surgical incision, no need for risky anesthesia, no need for costly hospitalization and no need to suffer post op pain. Patient can walk immediately and resume normal activity and work the next day.
  2. No ugly scar. More than 70% of my varicose veins patient come to see me because they want to look better. So when I treat their veins, I have to make sure that I don’t leave ugly scars behind. With EVLT, the needles used during EVLT are small and healed well.
  3. Safer. Studies have shown that EVLT is safer than surgery. Complications of EVLT are few and far in between.
  4. Less recurrence. Recurrence rate of varicose veins is much lower than stripping surgery (25% vs 5%)
  5. Need not cost more. Although EVLT procedure has higher capital expenditure and costly consumables, the cost can usually be offset by doing the procedure as a Day-case, thus saving on costly hospital admissions. In reality, the cost for EVLT may be the same or less than stripping surgery.
  6. Accepted by insurance providers. EVLT is an American FDA approved treatment for varicose veins. Almost all insurance providers will cover the cost of the treatment if they done for medical reasons.
April 26, 2010

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