Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)

Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is a short, minimally-invasive alternative to more invasive vein stripping procedures. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia. A thin laser fiber is inserted into the vein and laser energy is applied to the vein. Delivered in short pulses, the laser energy heats the vein from within, causing it to shrink, collapse and seal shut.


You will experience some discomfort, along with possible bruising, after the procedure for up to 2 weeks. Walking, compression stockings, and non-aspirin anti-inflammatories are recommended to help with the discomfort during the healing process.


The procedure takes about an hour and you can resume your normal activities immediately. Vigorous workouts, running and other such activity should be avoided for 1-2 weeks.

Pre-Procedure Instructions

Please consider and follow these pre-procedural instructions prior to your procedure at the Vein Center
at Iowa Heart.


EVLT is performed in our office under local anesthesia. You will receive medication to help you relax, so please make arrangements for a responsible adult driver to drive you home.

Food and Medication

Minimal food or drink is recommended the morning of the procedure to enhance absorption of the medication. A light breakfast or snack is acceptable. Take your normal medications. If your procedure is scheduled in the afternoon, a light lunch is acceptable.

If you are on a blood thinner, please notify us immediately so that if needed, we may speak with your primary physician and determine a course of action. EVLT may be performed while on blood thinners, but it is important that we are aware of this.

What to Wear

Do not wear your compression stockings the morning of the procedure, but please bring them with you. They must be thigh-high 20-30mm Hg or 30-40mm Hg compression strength. If you forget your compression hose, we have them to purchase.

Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.


Please check with your insurance company prior to your procedure to assure that your EVLT procedure is a covered benefit with your individual plan. This will be billed as an office procedure. Please ask that they quote your financial responsibilities.

The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for EVLT is 36478.

If your insurance company states that you need a preauthorization, please notify our office. Our office will preauthorize any procedure and notify you when you are approved. We can then schedule your procedure.

Other Instructions

In preparation for the procedure, we request that you maintain a standing position as much as possible for 2 hours prior to arrival. This will help to increase the circulation to your legs, thus increasing the ease of the procedure.

Post-Procedure Instructions

Now that your procedure is complete, you may resume normal activities with the following exceptions
and suggestions.


You are encouraged to walk at least 20 minutes every few hours during the day. Walking will help the leg’s recovery process.

  • When not walking, you are encouraged to elevate your leg.
  • Refrain from weight lifting or high impact activity with legs for one week.
  • Do not fly for one week following your procedure.

Pain Management

You may or may not experience discomfort or pain after the procedure for up to several weeks. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication is recommended. You will also be given a prescription for a pain medication if indicated.

Starting roughly on the 3rd to 4th day after the procedure, you may experience a pulling or tugging sensation in the affected leg. You may have redness, bruising, and tenderness. You may also experience hard, lumpy, or cord-like areas in the treated leg. These are all normal effects and part of the healing process. Do not use heating pads or ice to affected leg.


You may shower after the procedure. Remove your dressing and do not replace. No baths or soaking in water for 1 week. This includes swimming pools, hot tubs, and lake or river water exposure.

Other Instructions

Wear the compression stockings at all times (24hrs daily) until your ultrasound appointment or otherwise instructed. You may remove them to shower then replace. After that, you will need to wear your compression stockings for 2-3 additional weeks.

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Meet the Physicians

Dr. Robert Zeff

  • Dr. Robert Zeff
  • MD, FACS – Medical Director

Meet the Physicians

Questions or Concerns?

Contact the Vein Center at Iowa Heart office at 515-633-3666 or toll-free at 877-413-VEIN.

West Des Moines Office Hours
8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday

As a courtesy to our staff and other patients,
if you need to cancel or reschedule your procedure for any reason, please do so at
least one week prior to your scheduled appointment.