EVLA or Endovenous Laser Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat varicose vein in the legs with laser energy. The treatment helps to shrink and ultimately collapse the veins. Once the varicose veins have been shrunk, blood is rerouted to the normal veins where it will go back to the lungs and heart.
The Recovery Time
The length of the recovery time will vary depending on the procedure undertaken. The treatment usually lasts about 60 minutes and the patient can go home immediately after that. For the patient, the recovery will usually take about two weeks. However, if the treatment was on both legs, the treatment might take a bit longer.
Once you get home, the doctor will recommend that you rest for the rest of the day for the anaesthetic to wear off. Your leg might feel tingly for a while but the pain will not be severe. If it becomes a bother, take some painkillers.
After the procedure, you will need to leave the dressings on for about 48 hours. Besides that, there will be some minimal bleeding. You may shower but you should not take baths or try to swim in a public pool. You must wait until the surgical wound is fully healed.
You will still need to wear the compression stockings for about three days. Only take them off when sleeping or showering. The compression stockings will promote the proper flow of blood and you will feel better the more you wear them.
During recovery, it is not recommended that you sit or stand for long periods. If you notice blood oozing through the bandages, raise your legs and apply pressure on the wound. If this does not work and the bleeding continues for two days, get in touch with your doctor for farther assistance.
At this time, it is recommended that you do not engage in any heavy lifting or strenuous exercises. You will only start doing this after about two weeks. However, you can still do some walking exercises to improve blood flow. This can also help to avoid any clots from developing. Ensure that you do not overdo it. Just a few hundred yards daily should be enough. As the stiffness decreases, you can increase your distances.
Besides that, you might also want to avoid driving the car if possible. This is because the reaction times might be slowed down by the anaesthesia. If you have some lingering discomfort in the legs, wait for about 48 hours before you try to drive again.
Follow Up Care
After the laser treatment, you will be scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound with a vein specialist in about 72 hours. This helps to determine whether the vein closed successfully. In some cases, you might develop phlebitis, which is where inflammation and lumps appear in the legs. This will usually clear up in a month.
Besides that, there is a chance that one in fifteen patients will see a relapse of the varicose veins within a decade. To avoid this, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy, wear some support socks, and exercise often.
In some cases, you might experience deep vein thrombosis after the treatment. This can be life threatening if ignored. Any time you experience pain and swelling in your legs, call the doctor. He or she will determine if any further treatment is needed.
For about a week after the procedure, avoid air travel. After about two weeks, you can take flights but ensure they are only short haul flights. Thus, if you had plans for a flight to a far of vacation, you might opt to stay home. Wear compression socks for the short haul flights. Besides that, ensure that you walk around in the cabin during flight. Aeroplanes are low pressure and this can make the veins dilate before they properly heal. Remember to avoid sitting or standing for long periods during the flight.
While there are no specific nutritional requirements after surgery, you will want to ensure you are getting enough hydration. This will help with blood flow.
Further Aftercare Instructions
After the treatment, you might be required to walk on a treadmill for about 20 minutes to reduce superficial venous pressure. This will help to increase circulation within the deep veins of the thigh and calf muscles.
When the legs ache or throb, some relief can be achieved by taking a short walk or doing some leg exercises. This alleviates discomfort quite fast; it should be done whenever some discomfort starts to manifest.
You should receive instructions from the medical staff about how long you need to continue wearing compression socks. However, it is recommended that you continue to wear them for a week just to be safe.
You should avoid elevating the legs when wearing compression stocking if there is a painful tourniquet sensation in the feet. This is usually caused by compressional and gravitation forces. Otherwise, you can continue to elevate the legs if there is no pain in the feet.
By carefully handling the compression stocking when wearing gloves, it reduces the chance that they will be destroyed by holes, tears or snags. The stockings you buy do not have any warranty form damage or defects.
If your compression stockings cause you any discomfort, talk to the staff about it. There is a stocking glue on offer, which can help to keep stocking adherent to the skin if the often roll down. When putting on the compression stockings, ensure that you are lying down. However, if you have a better position, please use it.
An important rule to keep in mind is that you should never jump into a sauna or whirlpool for about a month after the EVLA procedure. Besides that, avoid getting into a lake or any other possibly contaminated body of water. This will give the punctures made to the skin from the EVLA time to heal, reducing the risk of infection.
Besides walking, you can do some cycling, using an elliptical trending, and light aerobics. It is, however, important to avoid overdoing any activity. While seated, you can also flex your feet about ten times every five minutes during recovery to improve venous blood flow.
If you experience any symptoms or signs that worry you, get in touch with your vein specialist. Some of the side effects that you need to check for are chills, fever, increased redness, purulent drainage, localised pain and much more. Besides that, if you have oedema, get in touch with the doctor.
Please note that it is expected the EVLA-treated area will be firm, rope-like, and tender to touch. Besides that, there might be some mild swelling. Any changes in sensation around the areas treated with EVLA are somewhat normal. Most of them will have gone away after about 6 months.
Follow Up Procedure
While a follow-up check is often done, no further procedure is needed with EVLA. After about six weeks, any small leftover veins can be removed using local anaesthesia. To do this, small incisions are made in the skin and the veins are injected with a chemical. After that, you will not need any other procedure. There is a low chance of about one in fifteen that you will ever have to deal with the issue again.
Mr Dimitri offers varicose vein treatment at various facilities recognised by the Healthcare Commission. These facilities are located in Chester, Cheshire, North Wales, Stockport, Warrington, Liverpool, and Wirral. If you are dealing with varicose veins, to discuss this treatment, get in touch with Mr Dimitri at Vein Solutions.