Endovenous Laser Therapy – Minimally Invasive Alternative to Stripping Surgery
Endovenous laser therapy is an established, modern and minimally invasive procedure that is ideally suited for the treatment of varicose veins. In many cases, this can replace or avoid a stripping operation. In this procedure, a laser catheter is inserted into the diseased vein without incisions and the vein is then closed with a 1470 nm laser. For the treatment of an uncomplicated disease of the large or small saphenous vein, this procedure is recommended in the guidelines of the European Society of Vascular Surgery.
Who is the procedure suitable for?
Endovenous laser therapy is suitable for many patients with varicose veins, especially those with a diseased saphenous vein. But also other diseased veins, which are not too strongly tortuous and are located somewhat deeper under the skin, can be treated with this minimally invasive method.
How does the treatment work?
After a small local anaesthetic at the lower end of the vein to be treated, a laser catheter is inserted into the vein under ultrasound control and pushed to the beginning of the vein. If the catheter is placed precisely in the correct position, another local anaesthetic is applied along the vein. Finally, the laser catheter is slowly retracted under ultrasound control in the vein and the vein is simultaneously obliterated with laser energy.
How has the procedure been tested?
Endovenous laser therapy is a procedure that has been tested in many studies and has proven the safety of use and good treatment results. The procedure has existed for more than 20 years and is used in numerous centres worldwide.
What are the advantages of the process?
Compared to classic stripping surgery, patients recover much faster after endovenous laser therapy, bruising and possible pain are less pronounced and no incisions are required. A general anaesthetic is also not necessary in most cases.
What are the disadvantages of the process?
Side effects are minimal and rare. In about 3% of cases the trunk vein can reopen. Rarely it comes to feeling disturbances of the skin, which disappear again after some time. You will be informed in detail about the advantages and risks of the procedure in a personal consultation.
Does my insurance cover the costs?
More than 80 statutory health insurance companies bear the costs under a special care contract, but not all. Therefore, please contact your health insurance company or simply talk to us about whether we can settle this procedure with your health insurance company. Private health insurers usually cover the costs without any problems. If you are publicly insured and would like to cover the costs yourself, you will have to reckon with costs starting from approx. 1400 EUR, depending on the findings and the veins to be treated.