Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) is a method of occlusion of an incompetent vein through insertion of a special optical fibre into the vein, that emits energy which makes the vein shrink and close. In many cases it can serve as a minimally invasive... more »
Lower limb varicose veins laser treatment in Poland
Lower limb varicose veins laser treatment (EVLT) is currently one of the most popular therapies for an advanced chronic venous insufficiency. It is less invasive than conventional stripping and according to experts can be used for more than 75% of the patients. Its effectiveness is assessed at approximately 95 %.
Lower extremities' varicose veins are one of the most common diseases today. According to the website NaZdrowie.pl one in three Poles suffers from the condition, and the vast majority the patients are women. The condition can already be identified as an occupational disease - office workers' malady, as one of the main causes for its occurrence is prolonged seated position. Today there are several methods to remove varicose veins, and laser treatment is one of them. Lower limb varicose veins laser treatment technique: EndoVenous laser treatment (EVLT), originated in the United States. Following the approval of FDA it was performed in 2002 for the first time . It quickly became one of the most popular methods to remove lower limb varicose veins - just a few years later, the US surgeons are performing about 100 000 treatments per year.
The EVLT method is relatively new in Polish clinics, but is quickly beginning to be of great interest for both, surgeons and patients. Dr Jan Wasylkowski (Non-public Surgical Health Care Facility: Jan Wasylkowski in Zielona Gora), is the pioneer of the technique, in 2003 he was the doctor to perform the first endoluminal EVLT laser treatment in Poland, and a year later, he carried out the first laser treatment in Poland using a laser constructed by Professor Ludwik Pokora from the Warsaw Centrum Techniki Laserowej. It was carried out using a modified method of placing a fibre optic cable in the vein. Another pioneer of EVLT, Dr Marek Karczewski, has been carrying out this type of procedures since 2004. At present he performs laser varicose vein treatments in Solumed clinic in Poznan and also works in his own private practice. Just one year later, in 2005, the EVLT technique was first used on the coast - Dr Wojciech Jusza, an owner of a private medical practice in Gdansk was one of the operating surgeons. Other surgeons quickly followed into the footsteps of the pioneers, and today patients suffering from the condition of varicose veins have a large selection of modern clinics to choose from.
The course of the EVLT varicose veins laser operation
EVLT method can be used in any stage of venous insufficiency, and there is no age limit for patients. It features minimal invasiveness, especially when compared to traditional surgical techniques. It facilitates rehabilitation and return to normal activity. Another characteristic, which makes laser procedures distinctive from stripping is a much smaller chance of haematoma, noted by many doctors. The selection of this procedure is the decision a phlebologist and patient take together during a consultation. Before this, a specialist performs a Doppler (Duplex-doppler) test for an assessment of venous system competence.
Laser vein removal procedure is an outpatient treatment or requires short hospital stay (patient is subject to local anaesthesia). It takes less time than conventional operation - around 45-60 minutes. Immediately before the procedure, a surgeon marks the opening of the great and small saphenous veins as well as varicose and perforator veins'. The procedure is called mapping for varicose veins and the doctor uses ultrasound or Vein-lite system to control it. He then performs a small, approximately 5 cm incision or puncture, through which a special catheter is introduced into the vein. The next step of the operation is placing (again guided by ultrasound) the laser fibre inside the catheter. Its head emits light, which damages the vein from the inside and the result is a gradual closing of an incompetent vessel.
After the procedure a pressure dressing in form of an extension bandage or a compression stocking is placed on the leg - the patient should be wearing it for at least 2 weeks. It is also recommended to avoid physical exercise at this time.
The cost of varicose veins laser treatment in Poland
Eliminating lower limb varicose veins with laser is becoming increasingly popular in Poland. According to Dr Jan Wasylkowski, the effectiveness of laser procedures is very high (approx. 95%), which in combination with much shorter duration of procedure and rehabilitation process gives them a big advantage over conventional surgery. We can therefore assume that they will be carried out more often.
At present, many centres offer this type of treatments and the cost of the procedure starts with 2 to 4 thousand zlotys per one leg. Aquarius Beauty Center in Kołobrzeg, where varicose veins are removed by Optolight method, offers the above mentioned rates. Eskulap Medical Center in Żary use ELVeS® Painless laser system - the cost of treatment for one leg is 2.5 thousand zlotys. The same system is also used by the Ośrodek Flebologii Małoinwazyjnej Angelius Hospital in Katowice. As an addition to laser, they use disposable Biolitec ELVeS® Radial fibres. The cost of procedure for one leg is about 2.9 thousand zlotys, if you wish to treat both, the price is PLN 4500. Another facility located in Katowice, Centrum Estetyki Ciała, offers laser treatments starting with PLN 2500, you will pay slightly more in an Otwock clinic Kriocentrum, where prices start with PLN 2700. Patients of the Poznań Solumed clinic will pay even more - the minimum cost is PLN 4000.
Surgery specialists from the Fragmat-Med clinic in Łódź carry out laser operations of varicose veins in lower limbs at PLN 2.7-2.9 thousand, and treating both legs costs PLN 4.4 thousand zlotys. If you decide on a surgery in Ars Estetica clinic in Wrocław, the cost will range between PLN 2200 and 3500. The price includes consultations, laser treatment, adjuvant sclerotherapy, 2nd compression class stockings and medical care for a year after the surgery. The clinic offers procedures with the endoluminal laser with 980 nm light wavelength - the first laser of this type in Poland. Extensive varicose vein treatment is offered by Laser-Med in Opole. The price of the procedure is PLN 2600 and it includes an overall cost of endovenous closing of the saphenous or small saphenous vein, foam sclerotherapy of the remaining small varicose veins and spider veins, as well as a follow-up doctor's appointment.
Prices of varicose veins treatments outside Poland
Outside Poland, the costs incurred by the patient are much higher. According to the Clinic Compare website, the prices of varicose veins laser surgery in Great Britain range between £2000 and £4,500 (9,9-22,2 thousand zlotys) per one limb. When calculating total fees we should also take into account the doctor's consultation, which on average costs £200, or about PLN 985. One of the EVLT technique pioneers, Dr David West from the Vein Centre (clinic has branches in London, Manchester, Bristol and Newcastle), offers treatments with prices starting at £1,695 (approximately 8.3 thousand Polish Zlotys) for one limb and from £1995 (9.8 thousand) for both.
Another British specialist, Mr. Mark Whiteley (Whiteley Clinic), carries out laser treatment of varicose veins from £2122, i.e., approximately PLN 10 450. An additional fee to pay by the patient is the cost of consultation - £170. Dr Constantinos Kyriakides, the surgeon from the private clinic of Harley Street performs EVLT treatments on one limb starting with £2, 000, while the treatment for both legs will cost £3, 500.
There are also clinics offering cheaper varicose veins laser treatment. A renown British surgeon, dr Sanjay Gheyi from Coltishall Clinic (Norwich), performs EVLT treatments from £1, 500, which is about 7.4 thousand zlotys. While an average cost of laser treatment in the US ranges between $600 and $3,000 (PLN 1.5-9.7 thousand), it depends on the degree of vein pathology and the region of the country. For example, Sanders Medical Inc. in Vernon offers one leg treatment for $2400 (about 7.8 thousand zlotys), while the procedure performed on two limbs is $4,400 (14.2 thousand zlotys). Treatments are carried out by two experienced surgeons, Dr William Sanders and Dr. April Anders.
Medical tourism - laser varicose veins treatment in Polish clinics
There are more and more clinics in Poland which offer laser varicose vein treatments for lower extremities. Surgeons undergo further specialisation courses, and use technologically advanced lasers in their offices. It is appreciated by both, Polish and foreign patients, who are increasingly willing to consult our specialists. Currently, among the foreigners being treated in Poland, British and Germans are the dominating group, as treatment in Poland incurs a much smaller cost in comparison to the prices in their own countries. An intensive promotion of Polish doctors that has been planned by the ministry of economy for the period between 2012-2015, will help attract foreign medical tourists from other countries, including Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Russia and the United States.