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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2010 Aug;40(2):246-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2010.02.026.

Laser and radiofrequency ablation study (LARA study): a randomised study comparing radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser ablation (810 nm).

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Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, E Floor, West Block, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.



There have been few randomised studies comparing Radiofrequency Ablation(RFA) with other endovenous techniques. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether RFA of the great saphenous vein (GSV) was associated with less pain and bruising than endovenous laser ablation (EVLA).


This trial had two cohorts--patients with bilateral GSV incompetence causing varicose veins (VV) and those with unilateral GSV VVs. In total 87 legs were treated in this study. Limbs in the bilateral group were treated with RFA in one leg and EVLA in the other. In the unilateral group limbs were randomised to RFA or EVLA. RFA was performed using the Celon RFiTT system (Teltow, Germany). EVLA was performed using an 810nm Laser (Biolitec AG, Germany). Phlebectomies were performed as required. Primary endpoints were patient assessed pain and bruising measured by visual analogue scale (VAS). Secondary endpoints were patency assessed by duplex ultrasound at 6 weeks and 6 months.


In the bilateral group, RFA resulted in significantly less pain than EVLA on days 2-11 postoperatively. RFA also resulted in significantly less bruising than EVLA on days 3-9. There were no significant differences in mean post operative pain, bruising and activity scores in the unilateral group. Both RFA and EVLA resulted in occlusion rates of 95% at 10 days postoperatively.


RFA was less painful for patients than EVLA and produced less bruising in the postoperative period with comparable success rates but there was no difference in the unilateral group.

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