EVLT is a technique developed by physicians at Weill Cornell Vascular that uses laser energy to treat varicose veins. It is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery, known as ligation and vein stripping. Unlike surgery, EVLT can be performed in about an hour to an hour and a half, in an office setting and requires only local anesthetic, involving virtually no recovery time.
The goal of EVLT is to close the underlying saphenous vein in order to decrease the pressure creating the visible varicose veins. EVLT allows precise delivery of laser energy into the vein in order to seal the faulty vein closed. Once the reflux (leak) within the underlying vein is corrected, the remaining visible varicose veins are then treated with either sclerotherapy (injection therapy) or microphlebectomy, usually at follow-up visits. Since EVLT depends on being able to insert the laser fiber within the vein itself, only relatively straight vein segments are amenable to this treatment.