Endovenous FAQ: The Vein Clinic of Washington | Chevy Chase, Maryland

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FAQ: Endovenous Laser Treatment

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What is the Endovenous Laser Treatment?

Endovenous Laser treatment is a minimally invasive treatment for superficial venous reflux. A thin catheter with a laser fiber inside is inserted into the vein through a small opening. The laser fiber is fired inside and along the length of your faulty, varicose vein. The laser energy damages the vein walls, shrinking them closed so that blood can no longer flow through.

How does it work to treat superficial venous reflux?

Since valves can’t be repaired, the only alternative is to re-route blood flow through healthy veins. Traditionally, this has been done by surgically removing (stripping) the troublesome vein from your leg. Endovenous Laser Treatment provides a less invasive alternative to vein stripping by simply closing the problem vein instead. Once the diseased vein is closed, other healthy veins take over and empty blood from your legs.

How is the Endovenous Laser Treatment different from vein stripping?

With the Endovenous Laser Treatment, there is no need for groin surgery. Instead, the vein remains in place and is closed using a special (laser) catheter inserted through a small puncture. This may eliminate the bruising and pain often associated with vein stripping. Vein stripping is usually performed in an operating room, under a general anesthetic, while the Endovenous Laser Treatment is performed on an outpatient basis, typically using local or regional anesthesia.

How long does the Endovenous Laser Treatment take?

The Endovenous Laser Treatment takes approximately 5 minutes, though patients normally spend 90 minutes at the medical facility due to normal pre and post-treatment procedures.

Is the Endovenous Laser Treatment painful?

Patients report feeling little, if any, pain during the procedure. Dr. Neimat will give you a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. The Endovenous Laser Treatment can be performed under local or general anesthesia.

How quickly after treatment can I return to normal activities?

Many patients can resume normal activities the next day. For a few weeks following the treatment, your doctor may recommend a regular walking regimen and suggest you refrain from very strenuous activities (heavy lifting, for example) or prolonged periods of standing.

How soon after treatment will my symptoms improve?

Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within 1-2 weeks following the procedure.

Is there any scarring, bruising, or swelling after treatment?

Patients report minimal to no scarring or swelling and mild bruising following the Endovenous Laser Treatment.

Are there any potential risks and complications associated with treatment?

As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with the Endovenous Laser Treatment. All patients will consult with Dr. Neimat to determine if their conditions present any special risks. Dr. Neimat will review potential complications of the Endovenous Laser Treatment at their consultation.

Is the Endovenous Laser Treatment suitable for everyone?

Experience has shown that many patients with superficial venous reflux disease can be treated with the Endovenous Laser Treatment.

How effective is Endovenous Laser Treatment?

Clinical data, with up to 5 years of follow-up, show success rates of 93-98% of the treated veins remain closed and free from reflux, the underlying cause of varicose veins. This is much higher than surgical ligation and stripping, radiofrequency electrosurgery, and injection sclerotherapy.

Is the Endovenous Laser Treatment covered by my insurance?

Many insurance companies are paying for the Endovenous Laser Treatment in part or in full. Most insurance companies determine coverage for all treatments, including the Endovenous Laser Treatment, based on medical necessity.


Vein Clinic of Washington