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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2011 May;41(5):691-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2011.01.018. Epub 2011 Feb 26.

Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) to treat recurrent varicose veins.

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Leeds Vascular Institute, The General Infirmary at Leeds, Leeds LS1 3EX, United Kingdom.



This cohort study assesses the effectiveness and safety of endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) in the management of recurrent varicose veins (RVVS).


104 limbs (95 patients) undergoing EVLA for RVVS were grouped according to pattern of reflux. For patients with recurrent SFJ/great saphenous vein (GSV) (Group GR) and SPJ/small saphenous vein (SSV) (Group SR) varicosities ablation rates and QoL (Aberdeen Varicose Vein Severity Scores (AVVSS)) were compared with those for age/sex matched patients undergoing EVLA for primary GSV/SSV dependent varicose veins (Groups GP and SP).


In patients with RVVS the axial vein was ablated in 102/104 (98%) limbs whilst 2 GSVs (group GR) partially recanalised by 3 months (GSV ablated in 49/51 (96%) limbs versus 50/51 (98%) limbs in GP [p = 0.2]). Improvements in AVVSS at 3 months (median GR: 14.2 (inter-quartile range (IQR) 10.2-18.9) to 3.2(1.2-6.4), p < 0.001; GP: median 15.9(IQR 11.4-22.7) to 3.8(1.1-5.6), p < 0.001, Mann-Whitney u-test) were similar (78% versus 76%, p = 0.23). The SSV was ablated in 24/24 limbs in groups SR and SP and the % improvement in AVVSS was 83% (median 14.4 (IQR 8.2-19.4) to 2.4 (1.9-4.6), p < 0.001, Mann-Whitney u-test) and 84% (median 13.8 (IQR 6.3-17.5) to 2.2 (1.2-5.1), p < 0.001) respectively (p = 0.33). These improvements persisted at 1 year follow-up. A further 29 limbs with isolated anterior accessory great saphenous vein (AAGSV) or segmental GSV/SSV reflux were successfully ablated. Complication rates for primary and RVVS were similar.


EVLA is a safe and effective option for the treatment of RVVS and could be a preferred option for suitable patients.

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