Endovenous Laser Ablation

Also known as: EVLA, endovenous laser therapy, EVLT.

What is endovenous laser ablation?

Congenital (before birth) abnormalities of blood or lymphatic vessels (vascular malformations) may cause disfigurement, pain and swelling. Endogenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive technique where an interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through which a laser that produces energy is placed into the abnormal vessel. The laser causes changes in the blood of the vessel which damages the vessel wall resulting in the vessel to gradually shrink over time (weeks to months).

What happens during the procedure?

Laser energy ( and sometimes a chemical agent-sclerosing substance) is used to close the vessel. Blood that previously flowed through the damaged vein gets rerouted to surrounding healthy veins.  

Is any special preparation needed?

Other than simply explaining the need and process, no special preparation is needed unless general anesthesia is required.

What are the risk factors?

While the procedure is generally considered fairly safe, there are a number of potential complications which which may occur and which your Nicklaus Children’s Hospital specialist will outline for you.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: March 26, 2019 12:21 PM