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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2010 Oct;40(4):521-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2010.05.011. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after venous thermoablation techniques: rates of endovenous heat-induced thrombosis (EHIT) and classical DVT after radiofrequency and endovenous laser ablation in a single centre.

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The Whiteley Clinic, 1 Stirling House, Stirling Road, Guildford GU2 7RF, UK.



Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after varicose vein surgery is well recognised. Less well documented is endovenous heat-induced thrombosis (EHIT), thrombus extension into a deep vein after superficial venous thermoablation. We examined the rates of DVT in our unit after radiofrequency (RFA) and endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) with specific attention to thrombus type.


Retrospective analysis of all cases of RFA under general anaesthesia and EVLA under local anaesthesia was performed. Cases of DVT were identified from the unit database and analysed for procedural details.


In total, 2470 cases of RFA and 350 of EVLA were performed. Post-RFA, DVT was identified in 17 limbs (0.7%); 4 were EHIT (0.2%). Concomitant small saphenous vein (SSV) ligation and stripping was a risk factor for calf-DVT (OR 3.4, 95%CI 1.2-9.7, P=0.036), possibly due to an older patient group with more severe disease. Post-EVLA, 4 DVTs were identified (1%), of which 3 were EHIT (0.9%).


The DVT rate including EHIT was similar in patients treated with RFA and EVLA and was low. Routine post-operative duplex ultrasound scanning is recommended until the significance of EHIT is better understood, in accordance with consensus guidelines. DVT rates for both techniques compare favourably with those published for saphenous vein stripping.

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