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Lasers Med Sci. 2015 Jan;30(1):103-8. doi: 10.1007/s10103-014-1626-0. Epub 2014 Jul 4.

Endovenous laser with miniphlebectomy for treatment of varicose veins and effect of different levels of laser energy on recanalization. A single center experience.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Surgery, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey, golbasi@akdeniz.edu.tr.

Abstract

Varicose veins, associated with great saphenous vein (GSV) incompetence, are traditionally treated with conventional surgery. In recent years, minimally invasive alternatives to surgical treatment such as the endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) and radiofrequency (RF) ablation have been developed with promising results. Residual varicose veins following EVLA, regress untouched, or phlebectomy or foam sclerotherapy can be concomitantly performed. The aim of the present study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of EVLA with different levels of laser energy in patients with varicose veins secondary to saphenous vein reflux. From February 2006 to August 2011, 740 EVLA, usually with concomitant miniphlebectomies, were performed in 552 patients. A total of 665 GSV, 53 small saphenous veins (SSV), and 22 both GSV and SSV were treated with EVLA under duplex USG. At 84 patients, bilateral intervention is made. In addition, miniphlebectomy was performed in 540 patients. A duplex ultrasound (US) is performed to patients preoccupying chronic venous insufficiency (with visible varicose veins, ankle edema, skin changes, or ulcer). Saphenous vein incompetence was diagnosed with saphenofemoral, saphenopopliteal, or truncal vein reflux in response to manual compression and release with patient standing. The procedures were performed under local anesthesia with light sedation or spinal anesthesia. Endovenous 980-nm diode laser source was used at a continuous mode. The mean energy applied per length of GSV during the treatment was 77.5 ± 17.0 J (range 60-100 J/cm). An US evaluation was performed at first week of the procedure. Follow-up evaluation and duplex US scanning were performed at 1 and 6 months, and at 1 and 2 years to assess treatment efficacy and adverse reactions. Average follow-up period was 32 ± 4 months (3-55 months). There were one patient with infection and two patients with thrombus extension into the femoral vein after EVLA. Overall occlusion rate was 95%. No post-procedural deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism occurred. Laser energy, less than 80 J/cm, was significantly associated with increased recanalization of saphenous vein, among the other energy levels. EVLA seems a good alternative to surgery by the application of energy of not less than 80 J/cm. It is both safe and effective. It is a well-tolerated procedure with rare and relatively minor complications.

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