Font Size: Increase | Decrease

What is Endo Laser Vein System and how does it work?

I have read that Endo Laser Vein System is effective in treating venous insufficiency. How exactly does it work and what are the risks and side effects associated with it?


Doctors Answers (7)

Endovenous is a laser treatment that seals the deeper veins closed in your legs. This treatment is very effective, and can be done in the office with minimal pain.

Endovenous laser is a common method of thermal ablation to eliminate an abnormal sub-surface (saphenous) vein without vein stripping surgery. Each laser company copyrights their own technical name for the procedure, but they all use laser generators of varying frequencies to "weld" the vein shut in a safe and effective 30-minute out-patient procedure.

The endovascular thermal ablation (ETA) treatments for varicose veins use a specialized catheter placed into the varicose vein so that laser or RF energy can be delivered to the tip of the catheter inside of the vein. In this procedure, the catheter is monitored by ultrasound and energy is low wattage and precisely delivered to the inside of the vein as the catheter is slowly pulled out which destroys the thin inner lining (endothelium) of the vein. This is an office procedure that is quick, comfortable and has no change in your regular activities so you return to school or work immediately. As a minimally invasive office procedure, the risks are small with the most common post procedure symptoms including temporary bruising, and occasional soreness lasting for several weeks. Walking and physical activity is beneficial and encouraged after the treatment.

Endovenous ablation of veins (typically the long or short saphenous veins) is sealing the damaged vein from the inside using targeted laser heat energy. The fiber is inserted low on the inside of the thigh/calf or on the back of the lower calf. This results in damaging the lining and sealing off the vein from the inside. If performed by an experienced board certified surgeon/vascular surgeon, it is very safe. After effects can be minimal with possible tenderness or some bruising. Normal activities can be resumed the next day. Risks are similar to any minimally invasive procedure but rare with an experienced surgeon.

Endovenous Ablation is performed most commonly using one of three methods. A laser fiber inserted into the vein, or a radiofrequency fiber inserted into the vein. These two methods use heat as a source to close the incompetent vein. The third method is called endovenous chemical closure. This method uses a chemical solution to close the vein. Any of these three methods are effective. I personally believe that the chemical method is superior in most cases, however, a heat source method can be used in conjunction with the chemical closure. They are all safe when performed by a well trained physician.

The Endovenous laser ablation uses a laser to close a vein. Under local anesthetic and ultrasound guidance, a physician finds the vein with venous insufficiency. He numbs the skin, enters the vein with a needle and then places a catheter inside the vein. The physician places a laser through this catheter to around 2cm from the junction of the vein with the deep vein. Then, under ultrasound guidance, local anesthetic is placed around the vein. This often requires several injections. The laser is turned on and the vein is heated from the inside. The vein gradually closes shut and the blood goes to veins that are usually working better. The patient is advised to wear a compression hose for a few weeks and to have a follow up ultrasound a few days later. The risks are that the laser could break, it could burn the patient, it could irritate or damage a nerve, the person could develop a superficial phlebitis or a deep vein thrombosis, pulmomary embolism and possibly death. There may also be discoloration of the skin over the vein lasered. There is always the risk of other complications.

Endovenous laser treatment is used to shut down veins that are not working. Venous insufficiency is because of backwards blood flow in either a deep or superficial vein. Endovenous laser treatment is effective for treating superficial venous insufficiency. With the guidance of an ultrasound, the practitioner will inject numbing medication into the leg to numb around the vein. After a needle is stuck into the vein, a small wire followed by a laser fiber is fed up into the vein. Then the laser is used to heat up the vein to shut it down. This eliminates that backwards blood flow that is feeding the varicose veins and causing the symptoms of the venous insufficiency. Not all superficial veins can be treated with Endo Laser, so it is recommended for you to first have a very thorough ultrasound to determine if this is the best treatment option for you. Side effects of this procedure include the risks of a blood clot, skin burning and numbness. All are very rare. Stockings and ambulation are necessary following the procedure.

Disclaimer: The information found on this website is intended to be general medical information; it is not a medical diagnosis or medical advice. Specific medical advice can only be given with full knowledge of all of the facts and circumstances of your health situation. You should seek consultation with a doctor familiar with your medical condition. Posting a question on this website does not create a doctor-patient relationship. All questions you post will be available to the public; do not include confidential information in your question.