The primary alternative to our laser treatments is surgical intervention, under general, or regional anesthesia (you may be unconscious during the surgery, or you may have only the area of the procedure “frozen”, like during a visit to your dentist).
The surgical procedure is referred to as vein ligation and stripping, and involves access to the vein through a groin incision. During the procedure, the greater saphenous vein is tied off and then cut. Through another surgical incision at the knee, the severed vein is then removed.
The surgical procedure is more painful than the non-invasive methods of treating venous disorders. The down time following surgery is typically 2 to 3 weeks. Using the surgical method, there is also a higher rate of recurrence. One study reports a 29% recurrence rate following ligation and stripping of the greater saphenous vein. The same study reports a recurrence rate of 71% following high ligations. Other studies report similar rates of recurrence.
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Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is also known as endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). The two terms are interchangeable and refer to the same treatment.