Endovenous Laser Treatment
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) with the CTEV COOLTOUCH LASER.
Our doctors have been using the CTEV Cooltouch laser to treat varicose veins since 2005. As Fellows of the Australasian College of Phlebology, Dr Paul Thibault and Dr Simon Thibault are trained and accredited to perform this technically demanding procedure. Our doctors have developed extensive experience in performing this procedure over many years.
EVLA is the latest breakthrough in the modern management of varicose veins. EVLA is performed in the doctor´s office, and provides an effective replacement for surgical stripping for moderate to extremely large saphenous veins. This technique has been in use since 2000 in the USA, and more recently in Europe and Australia.
EVLA involves a combination of laser and ultrasound technology, and does not require admission to hospital or general anaesthesia. Research performed on more than 1000 patients has shown a low risk of complications and superior results when compared with surgery and UGS (excellent results in over 98% of patients).
EVLA is used to treat the main trunks of the saphenous veins. A fine laser fibre is inserted into the target vein, under local anaesthetic. Laser energy is then delivered into the vein, causing the vein to collapse and seal shut. Following the procedure, compression stockings are fitted and a daily walk is advised.
To treat the remaining abnormal branch veins, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is usually required at a later date.
Not all lasers are the same
There are several different endovenous lasers on the market today. The single most critical component that determines the overall success of endovenous laser treatment is the laser’s wavelength. The CoolTouch CTEV laser has a 1320 nm wavelength, which has been found to be a comfortable and effective laser treatment for varicose veins.
How does the CoolTouch CTEV laser work?
With the CoolTouch CTEV a small single needle incision is made in the leg and the fibre is inserted into the varicose vein. The laser is activated and as the fibre is moved through the vein it gently heats and safely closes the vein. Once the vein is closed, the blood that was circulating through this vein is simply re–routed to other healthy veins and the varicose vein essentially vanishes.
Laser is usually used for the underlying deeper superfical veins such as the great or small saphenous veins. Superficial visible varicose veins are usually treated with ultrasound guided sclerotherapy 1-7 days later.
A simple office based procedure
The CoolTouch CTEV procedure is minimally invasive. You may be awake during the entire procedure but you will not feel any pain as your leg will be numbed using a local anaesthetic. The entire procedure will take less than one hour per leg treated. This treatment is designed to be performed out of hospital. Performing this procedure in hospital under a general anesthetic increases the risks of nerve injury and other complictaions and is not recommended.
Cosmetically pleasing results
One of the tremendous benefits of the CoolTouch CTEV procedure is that patients do not experience the incision scars or bruising that are often present with alternative treatments. And since the incision is so small, no stitches are necessary.
Rapid relief from symptoms
Your symptoms will begin to improve immediately after the CoolTouch CTEV procedure is completed. However, depending upon their severity, some symptoms may take one to two weeks to completely disappear.
Quick return to work and play
After the procedure, your leg will be fitted in a stocking and you will be up and walking within 30 minutes. You will be able to resume routine activity the same day and athletic or strenuous activities within several days. You will be required to wear a medical stocking for at least a week and walk for 45 minutes every day.
Side-effects of endovenous laser include;
Bruising which is temporary and resolves on its own within 2-3 weeks. No treatment is advised.
Aches and pains in the leg occur frequently in the days after treatment. The discomfort is usually very mild and responds to simple analgesia such as Paracetamol or Ibubrofen.
More severe pain and redness is rare but can be caused by "phlebitis" which is inflamation along the treated vein. This usually responds quickly to prescription anti-inflammatories so all patients with more severe pakin are advised to return to see your treating doctor so that the appropriate treatment can the prescribed.
Feeling of a cord-like vein in the leg which resolves by itself over a few weeks.
Trapped blood which feels like hardened lumps where the treated veins were. This is a temporary effect that always goes away over time. This can be hastened by letting out the blood at the followup appointments which our doctors routinely do. Letting out this blood also reduced the risk of getting post-sclerotherapy pigmentation.
Complications of endovenous laser are rare and include;
Deep venous thrombosis which is a clot in the deep veins of the leg. This serious complication is very rare after laser but can lead to clots in the lungs (Pulmonary Embolus) which can be life-threatening.
Numbness in an area of the leg which can be due to heating of nerves that lie adjacent to the treated vein. This usually resolves by itself over 6 months.
Video of Cooltouch CTEV treatment from "The Doctors"
For more information on the CoolTouch CTEV, download the accompanying brochure