Alegent Health Northwest Imaging

Northwest Imaging is a joint venture between Radiology Consultants and Alegent Health.

Varicose Vein Ablation (EVLT)

What causes varicose veins?
Blood from the legs returns to the heart via veins.  The veins depend on valves to move blood upward against gravity.  If the valves become damaged by blood clots or prolonged increase pressure, then blood begins to flow backward and pool in the legs. As a result, leg veins dilate and form varicosities (enlarged veins).

How is the diagnosis of varicose veins made?
Ultrasound of the legs is performed on your initial visit and reversal of flow in the leg veins is documented. The size and location of your veins are also mapped out. Finally, the doctor will correlate the ultrasound findings with your symptoms to determine if you would benefit from endovenous laser therapy (laser ablation of varicose veins).

What is endovenous laser therapy (laser ablation of varicose veins)?
This is a new procedure that involves placing a small laser fiber into the abnormal leg vein. The laser is activated and pulled back slowly through the vein.  This ablates or seals off the abnormal vein. This prevents pooling of blood in the leg veins and forces blood back to the heart through other normal veins.

Why EVLT (laser ablation of varicose veins)?
Treatment takes less than 2 hours without hospitalization or multiple incision that comes with traditional vein stripping surgery. This allows for immediate return to normal activity and relief of symptoms, in most cases. The procedure results in very minimal pain.

What are the risks?
There have been a small number of cases where temporary skin numbness has occurred.  There have been very few reported cases of blood clots forming after the procedure. This risk is minimized by immediate placement of a compression stocking and return to normal activity (i.e., walking). Published clinical studies report a 98% success rate with endovenous laser therapy (laser ablation of varicose veins).

Will my insurance cover the procedure?
Most insurance companies cover the treatment of venous disease when there is reversal of blood flow documented on ultrasound in the presence of symptoms such as pain, heaviness, fatigue, or swelling. Your insurance company may require a referral from a physician.  Our representative will obtain prior authorization from your insurance company.

Can I have endovenous laser therapy if I have had a vein stripping?
An ultrasound can determine if the saphenous vein is still present and the valves are incompetent.  If so, EVLT would likely be possible.

How can I obtain an initial consultation and ultrasound?
Call Mercy Hospiltal at (712) 328-5959.                                                                                                       Call Immanuel Hospital at (402) 572-2324                                                                                                  Call Lakeside Hospital at (402) 717-8146