Many people who call or attend our practice often ask “Why is Laser treatment for varicose veins so expensive?” To answer this question effectively, it is important to understand what goes into performing endovenous laser ablation (EVLA). Endovenous laser ablation requires a large number of expensive consumables and expensive equipment. It is performed almost exclusively in private practice in specialty vein clinics for that very reason. To perform EVLA efficiently, effectively and most importantly, as safely as possible, there are several things required at a minimum:
- Formal surgical room (preferably accredited to the NSQHSS standards).
- Provisions for advanced life support including a defibrillator and crash trolley.
- Up to date, advanced duplex ultrasound (colour/grey mode). Ultrasounds need to be accredited and it is mandatory for clinics performing diagnostic ultrasound to have an up to date LSPN number.
- An up-to-date, modern and serviced endovenous laser machine or radiofrequency machine.
- Sterile, disposable (once-off-use) laser fibres are preferable.
- Sterile, disposable theatre kits.
- All other necessary consumables for the procedure.
Vein Health Medical Clinic’s capabilities and facilities:
- Accredited as ultrasound diagnostic service with its own LSPN.
- Has formal surgical/theatre rooms and is progressing towards NSQHSS Standards (even though this is not mandatory).
- Doctors and staff trained annually in advanced life support and carry the latest certification.
- Has the latest and most advanced Toshiba Aplio Ultrasound Units that are serviced and maintained annually.
- Employs dedicated vein staff and vascular sonographers for diagnostic imaging.
- Has up to date Endovenous Laser Machine (The Endolaser 1500) and the latest Medtronics Radiofrequency machine.
- Uses the very best laser fibres (600 micron radial fibres).
- Uses the very best radiofrequency fibres (Closurefast RF Fibres).
- All consumables used in each procedure are sterile, single use and as such there is no risk of cross contamination.
Is there a Medicare rebate?
As of November 1st, 2011, Medicare introduced an item number associated with Endovenous Laser and Radiofrequency Ablation. It gives patients a small rebate for the cost of the procedure but does not cover the cost of the consumables and Laser/RF Fibres or Laser/RF Machines or the theatre running costs.
Will my private health insurance cover EVLA?
Private health insurance does not currently rebate this procedure when performed out of hospital.