Author(s): Ravi R, RodriguezLopez JA, Trayler EA, Barrett DA, Ramaiah V,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness of endovenous treatment of symptomatic varicose veins using the endovenous laser (EVL) or radiofrequency (RF) energy over a >3-year follow-up. METHODS: From February 2002 to August 2005, 981 consecutive patients (770 women; mean age 51 years, range 15-90) with symptomatic varicose veins in 1250 lower limbs underwent endovenous ablation of 1149 great saphenous veins (GSV) and 101 small saphenous veins (SSV) under tumescent anesthesia without intravenous sedation or regional anesthesia. There were 990 GSV and 101 SSV procedures using EVL; 159 GSVs were treated with RF energy. An ultrasound evaluation was performed within 2 weeks of the procedure to evaluate occlusion of the vein, wall thickness, and clot extension into the deep venous system. Follow-up from the first 200 procedures in the series included clinical evaluation and duplex ultrasound scanning at 6 and 12 months and annually thereafter. RESULTS: Of the 1149 GSVs treated, 39 (3.4\%) recanalizations were seen in 33 of the EVL and 6 of the RF procedures for inadequate treatment as judged by ultrasound. There were 9 (9.0\%) failures among the 101 SSVs treated with EVL. Overall, both EVL and RF procedures were well tolerated, with only minor complications. One obese patient with ulcer developed pulmonary embolus on the fourth postoperative day. There were no differences between EVL and RF in efficacy or complications. Follow-up at a mean 3 years (range 30- 42 months) in 143 treated limbs showed no neovascularization in the groin. CONCLUSION: Outcomes with EVL and RF were good, with low complication rates that may be related to the use of local tumescent anesthesia without intravenous sedation.
This article was published in J Endovasc Ther
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research