Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
EVLA is the preferred treatment for venous reflex disease, also known as chronic venous insuffiency (CVI), as it involves minimal risk and downtime and has been shown superior at ensuring long-term success.
Since EVLA requires specific expertise and a specialized facility, few clinics offer this treatment. Fortunately for our patients, we do. An expert in EVLA, Dr. Ollewagen holds consultations at Aurora’s clinic in Red Deer. If a patient is eligible for this treatment, they will be referred to The Vein Treatment Centre in Calgary, where Dr. Ollewagen performs the procedure. Any necessary follow-up can be done at our Red Deer clinic.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens during the initial consultation?
Yes! Before any treatment, we offer a
During your initial consultation, we will conduct a physical examination and ultrasound assessment (diagnostic test) of your veins. We may photograph the problem area for before and after comparisons.
After learning about your goals and the underlying cause of your concerns, we will develop a customized treatment plan for you with multiple treatment options.
- Do I need a referral from a doctor?
No, a referral is not required to meet with our clinic’s doctor.
- Who is a good candidate for this treatment?
Patients who are good candidates for this treatment may experience some of the following: achy or tired legs, leg cramping (especially at night), discoloration of the skin, swelling of the lower legs and ankles, itching skin on the legs or feet, varicose veins, and a heavy feeling the legs.
- How does this treatment work?
EVLA, or endovenous laser ablation, is an in-office treatment using laser energy. The laser is delivered directly inside the vein to eliminate varicose saphenous veins and other large varicosities. The excellent long term results, ease of delivery, and minimal recovery make EVLA the treatment against which all other treatments are measured.
Under ultrasound guidance and local anesthesia, doctors use a catheter to pass a laser fibre inside the vein. The application of laser energy causes the vein to close. With EVLA, there is no need for hospitalization, general anesthesia, or stitches. Following the procedure, patients can walk out of the office and resume normal daily activities (except for really strenuous exercise). Many patients choose endovenous laser treatment for varicose veins because of the short recovery and excellent long term results.
- How long does the procedure take?
Although the EVLA procedure itself takes 30 to 45 minutes, the total time required, including before and after treatment, is approximately two hours.
- Is the treatment painful?
Patients experience no pain during the lasering of the vein. There can be slight discomfort when the local anesthetic is administered. Overall, this procedure is mostly painless for our patients, making it an ideal vein treatment option.
- Are there side effects?
The common side effects are minor bruising and sometimes a sore, lumpy cord in the treated area, both of which disappear within one to two weeks of the procedure.
- Will I be able to drive home?
You will be given medication to help you relax during the procedure, so you will need someone to drive you home.
- What should I expect in terms of downtime?
While no stitches are necessary, you may want to take anti-inflammatory medication for five to seven days. The treatment area will be covered by a compression pad, which you can remove after three days. We will place a thigh-high support stocking on your leg following the procedure; this should be worn for a minimum of one week. After the procedure, you can return to your daily activities, but please avoid strenuous exercise. For three to four weeks after the procedure, avoid taking any long plane rides or car trips.
- Will I need a follow-up?
Yes, one week after the procedure, we will perform Doppler and a colour duplex ultrasound to confirm success, and we’ll continue monitoring the treated area for several months. Most patients will need sclerotherapy for remaining superficial varicosities and spider veins.
- How much does EVLA cost?
Alberta Health does not cover EVLA. The fee for treating a vein with EVLA is $3,000 per leg or $5,800 for both legs. This fee is payable by credit card or direct debit and includes the cost of equipment, disposable sterile materials, and staff and physician time.
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