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What are EVLA and EVRF?

EVLA is an acronym for endovenous laser ablation and EVRF stands for endovenous radiofrequency ablation. For years, patients suffering from varicose veins and other effects of venous reflux had few options for treatment, among the treatments were vein stripping or vein ligation.  Now, EVLA and EVRF are the gold standard treatments in venous disease.

During the outpatient procedure, the physician uses ultrasound imaging guidance to thread a small laser fiber or radiofrequncy catheter into the vein at the location of vein failure.  Laser energy or radiofrequency energy is then applied to the inside of the vein, “irritating” the vein wall and essentially sealing the vein closed.  The treated vein eventually disappears and is no longer able to create flow, back into tributaries (varicosities) and spider veins.  Blood is diverted to the many other healthy veins in the leg, and there are no ill effects from the loss of this troublesome vein.

An appointment for EVLA or EVRF treatment takes approximately two hours.  The procedure itself usually takes about forty minutes due to procedure preparation.  A local anesthetic is used, although for most patients, the laser or radiofrequency causes no pain.  You should inform your doctor if you  have any discomfort, so that more local anesthesia can be administered.

You may resume most normal activities immediately after the procedure, and most patients can return to work the next day.  You may plan to have a family or friend drive you home, or in most cases patients are able to drive to and from their procedural appointments and follow-up visits.

If you would like to learn more about EVLA and EVRF and discover if you are a good candidate for the procedure call Dr. Pal at the Minnesota Vein Center.

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