North Memorial Heart & Vascular Institute offers vascular ultrasound screening for patients experiencing symptomatic varicose veins or venous insufficiency, a condition in which the veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart. If treatment is recommended, our interventional cardiologists use the latest technology known as Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT). This procedure may be complimented with sclerotherapy and/or microphlebectomy.
The North Memorial Difference
- Cardiologists – no one else – perform this procedure. North Memorial Medical Center is the only hospital in the Twin Cities where cardiologists perform the EVLT procedure.
- Patients benefit from minimally invasive laser technology. This results in minimal pain, little or no downtime, and quick recovery.
How Varicose Veins Form
Varicose veins can develop through a combination of weakened vein walls and defective valves. Under a variety of circumstances, normally toned, elastic vein walls can become weak and allow the blood that should be moving toward your heart to flow backward. One-way valves in these veins -- which open and enable blood to flow through on its way upward, then close to stop blood from flowing backward -- can also fail to function properly. This allows blood to pool and pressure to build up, which further weakens and subsequently damages the veins, causing them to become twisted, enlarged and painful. Up to 40 percent of women and 25 percent of men are affected by this condition.
How EVLT Treats Varicose Veins
North Memorial uses uses laser therapy to eliminate varicose veins where they start. In laser vein treatment, a thin fiber is inserted into the damaged vein. A laser light is emitted through the fiber, delivering just the right amount of energy. The targeted tissue reacts with the light energy, causing the vein to close and seal shut. The veins that are closed off are superficial veins that handle less than 5 percent of your blood flow. The blood is automatically routed to other veins.
Frequently Asked Questions about EVLT and Venous Insufficiency
What are the Benefits of Endovenous Laser Treatment?
Benefits of this minimally invasive procedure include:
- Minimal pain
- Little or no downtime
- Excellent recovery (one to two days, whereas recovery from traditional treatment takes 14 days)
What are the symptoms of venous insufficiency?
Symptoms vary but commonly include:
- Ongoing pain that gets worse as you stand
- Leg pain, swelling, heaviness
- Skin manifestations of varicose veins
Who is at risk for venous insufficiency?
Women are at greatest risk, particularly those between 35 and 70 years of age or who have had multiple pregnancies or hormone replacement therapy. Men ages 50 to 60 are also at higher risk. If one's parent or sibling has this condition, risk also increases.
Is a referral needed?
No, patients can self refer to the consultation/ultrasound screening. To schedule a consultation at Robbinsdale or Maple Grove, call 763-581-5423.
Does insurance cover the consultation/ultrasound and procedure?
Yes. Most carriers (including Medicare) provide coverage for the procedure if there is an indication for treatment; for example: leg pain, swelling or heaviness and/or skin manifestations of varicose veins.
Service is available at:
Get Directions 763-581-5400
Maple Grove, Minnesota
Get Directions 763-581-5300