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Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLA) for varicose vein

What is a varicose vein?

Our veins carry the blood and oxygen, our body has used, towards our heart. They are essential part of our functioning body and should be cared for properly just as we care for our hair for example.

Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged or twisted. The veins in our body have valves inside them. These valves control the blood flow and prevent blood from flowing backwards. When someone has varicose veins it also means that their valves don’t function properly leading to more damage.

This condition is commonly occurs on the leg but can happen elsewhere too.

Varicose vein Medicover Hospital surgery abroad
Varicose vein Medicover Hospital surgery abroad

How do I know if I have varicose veins?

When we think about this condition we probably associate it with blue-ish/purple lumps on people’s leg. We might know it causes pain and a heavy feeling in one’s leg which we know from commercials.

However you should know that there are other symptoms that can be tell-tale signs for varicose veins:

  • Swelling of the ankle and foot, especially evenings
  • Pain, sensitivity and heaviness in the legs
  • Visible, lumpy veins
  • Cramps in your lower leg
  • Itchiness and edema
  • Injuries that occur on the affected leg bleed more and heal slower
  • Discoloring of the skin

If you leave it untreated it could lead to:

  • Dry, thinned skin
  • Phlebitis (inflammation of the veins)
  • Ulcers on the leg which do not heal over time
  • Thrombosis

If and when you’re experiencing the symptoms mentioned above it’s advised to seek medical attention. The sooner the problem is recognized the better the chances are for a full recovery.

Why do veins become varicose?

Varicose veins affect up to 20 % of the general population, it’s said to be endemic. Since humans started walking on two feet our legs have to carry an increased amount of weight daily. Because of this the valves inside our veins can be damaged sooner, leading to inadequate functioning.

However other factors are associated as well with the development of varicose veins:

  • Gender: Women are more prone to developing this disease because the female hormones have a relaxing effect on the walls of the veins. With this increased diameter even the properly working valves can’t do their job thus blood flows backwards.
  • Genetics: varicose veins may be partly caused by your genes, your risk of developing them is increased if a close family member has the condition.
  • Age: As time passes, veins start to lose their elasticity and the valves inside them stop working as well.
  • Obesity: overweight puts extra pressure on your veins, which means they have to work harder to send the blood back to your heart. This can put increased pressure on the valves, making them more prone to leaking
  • Occupation: jobs that require long periods of standing may increase your risk of getting varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy: added pressure on the veins in the legs by the weight of the growing fetus and the relaxation effects of the hormones estrogen and progesterone on the vein walls contribute to the development of varicose veins during pregnancy.

How can you treat varicose veins?

The exact treatment is always depends on the severity of your condition:

As lifestyle choices also play a huge part in the development of varicose veins, in mild cases it might be enough to change bad habits:
Moderate alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and losing the excess weight can work wonders. Being overweight is especially hard on our body and veins, as more weight means more burden.

You should avoid lifting heavy objects and standing still for a long period of time, because these activities put an increased strain on our legs. When your job requires to stand for a long time try to exercise your legs often.

It’s recommended not to wear heels, tight clothing or to have long hot baths.

However if your condition is severe, surgery is the option you want to choose. This eliminates the risks for complications like thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or leg ulcers. Nowadays there are different surgeries (stripping or laser) available from which your doctor chooses the one that suits you most.

You should use compression stocking in every case of varicose veins. This supports the walls of your veins.

Beside all this you can do a lot for the health of your veins with some exercise. You can do some of them even when at work: draw circles in the air with bending your ankles, imitate the movements of cycling, stand up on your tiptoes and stand back etc.

How does the procedure work?

At Medicover Hospital our vascular surgeons prefer laser surgery as the treatment for varicose veins because its smaller risk and faster recovery.

The EndoVenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) or treatment (EVLT) is the most modern method to treat varicose veins (EndoVenous means inside the veins). The surgery takes approximately one hour to complete.

During the surgery –based upon the location of your affected vein- you either lay prone or on your back. Your surgeon examines the veins with ultrasound to have a clear picture about the problem and the area where incision needs to be done.

The whole process is done with analgesics and if necessary general anesthesia as well so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort.

Next, your doctor injects a needle into your skin. Through this needle they can insert the laser and the camera into your vein. With the help of the laser they eliminate the problematic parts of the vein.

At the end of the surgery your doctor removes the laser and covers the pin-prick with a Band-Aid.

There’s no blood involvement which minimalizes the risks of infections and speeds up the healing process. After a few hours of observation you can leave the hospital to recover at home.

What are the benefits of the surgery?

  • It’s a fast, routine procedure
  • It can be done under local anesthesia
  • There are no cuts, stiches
  • You won’t feel any pain
  • There are basically no side effects of the surgery

Is surgery risky?

The biggest benefit of the procedure its safety. It comes with minimal risk and the number of side effects (pain, bruising, and thrombosis) can be reduced to zero if the doctor’s orders are taken seriously.

We suggest taking the following actions after the procedure:

Don’t overuse your legs in the next 3 to 4 days, relax as much as possible, don’t stand still for long periods or sit with your legs hanging. You should wear compression stocking up to 4 weeks to help your veins recover. After the 4 days of rest you should use your legs often but only do mild, not straining exercises. If you’re sitting try to elevate your leg to ensure the even blood flow.

Am I a good candidate for the surgery?

Before surgery –either you choose stripping or laser therapy- you will have a number of tests (bloodwork, chest x-ray) and a consultation. This helps your doctor to determine whether it’s safe for you to undergo the surgery or not.

However if you can’t stay active enough afterwards to prevent blood clots, surgery is contraindicated. During pregnancy or breastfeeding you cannot receive pain medications so you can’t undergo the procedure.

Should I choose conventional or laser therapy for my veins?

Stripping surgery Laser surgery (EVLA)
The complexity of the procedure You need a consultation with an anesthesiologist. General anesthesia is given, cuts are made and stiches are needed. It takes approx. 1,5 hour The procedure is shorter, the vein is destroyed by a laser through a needle point in the skin. There are no stiches, cuts and blood
Pain (management) It’s either done under general or spinal anesthesia Local anesthesia is sufficient
Risks There are risks associated with general anesthesia, bleeding, infections, blood clots and scarring The only risk is thrombosis which can be greatly reduced by following doctor’s orders.

Our varicose vein surgeon


• 25 years in the varicose vein surgery

Type of treatments:
• aortic dissection
• elective and ruptured abdominal aneurysm
• thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm
• lower extremity vascular surgery
• renovisceralis care and other cerebrovascular area

Special offers

Cataract surgery

The cataract surgery is an extremely safe and very routine procedure.

750 € / 650 £

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT/EVLA)

We prefer laser surgery as the treatment for varicose veins because its smaller risk and faster recovery.

910 € / 790 £

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