What is ELT?
ELT stands for Endovenous Laser Treatment. This is an exciting new varicose vein treatment that is replacing traditional great and small saphenous leg vein removal in practices across the nation. The ELT varicose vein treatment involves threading a laser fiber into the diseased vein and activating it along the length of the vein. This effectively “ablates” the vein, preventing blood flow and the increased pressure associated with varicosities. Local anesthetic is used, and all ELT procedures are done in our office.
Is it painful?
The laser varicose vein treatment is carried out under local anesthesia. You will feel the prick of the needle used to inject the anesthetic, but you will be completely numb for the remaining part of the procedure. Since the entire area around the vein is numb, you will feel nothing as the laser is used in the procedure. After the procedure, the anesthetic lasts a few hours. We then recommend that you take the prescription-strength ibuprofen we provide at regular intervals for at least 3-4 days. This decreases inflammation and discomfort. After this, you may take over-the-counter pain relievers. Most people find the pain relief we recommend to be more than sufficient.
How effective is ELT?
As a varicose vein treatment, the ELT procedure is about 99% effective in ablating the vein. When a leg vein is completely removed from circulation, it is impossible for it to return. With traditional vein stripping, there is a greater chance of new veins growing. Even though the original vein is gone, new ones may recur which will require future treatment. With ELT, new veins are unlikely to grow. This greatly decreases the likelihood that you will require additional varicose vein treatment in the future.
In short, ELT is considered more effective at treating varicosities than traditional stripping.
Can all varicose veins be treated with ELT?
Unfortunately, not all varicose veins can be treated with ELT. If the vein is greater than 2 cm in diameter, the laser will not be as effective. In addition, if the vein is very tortuous or “winding,” it may be impossible to insert the laser fiber far enough into the vein to be helpful. If the vein is located very close to the surface, ELT is not appropriate. In these cases, an alternative treatment will be recommended by the surgeon.
Alternative Varicose Vein Treatments
- Phlebectomy (Ambulatory, hook, or MicroPhlebectomy
- VeneFit™ Procedure
- Glue, chemical, and mechanical ablation
Do you suffer from Varicose Veins? At Laser & Vein Center of North Jersey, Dr. Philip Seaver, one of the top vein doctors in the region, provides expert services in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins and spider veins to patients from Essex, Union and Morris Counties, and all surrounding NJ towns, as well as NYC. Focusing on each client’s unique concerns and needs, our doctors provide personalized care with state-of-the-art technology for optimal health, aesthetics, and patient satisfaction. To receive more information or schedule a consultation, call 973-408-8346 to speak with our friendly staff.