[Endovenous laser therapy: a new treatment for varicose veins].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2007 Apr 28; 151(17):960-5.NT
Varicose veins are very common. For years the most commonly applied treatment for great saphenous vein (GSV) insufficiency was saphenofemoral junction ligation with saphenous vein stripping. Minimally invasive methods, such as the endovenous laser therapy, are increasingly used during the last few years. In endovenous laser therapy, a diode laser fibre is inserted percutaneously into the GSV using ultrasonography to confirm the position. Thermal laser energy is applied to the endothelium ofthe GSV, resulting in local venous occlusion. The procedure has rapidly become popular with clinicians who treat varicose veins due to its relative simplicity and high rate of patient satisfaction. Efficacy outcomes are good with an occlusion rate of up to 100%. Recanalisation is rarely occurring even after several years. Pain, haematoma and phlebitis are common adverse events associated with endovenous laser therapy but in most cases are self-limiting. Serious adverse events, such as deep vein thrombosis, are uncommon. The advantages ofendovenous laser therapy are the lack of surgical wounds, so infection and scarring are avoided, and that the procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting using local anaesthesia. Endovenous laser therapy appears to be a safe and effective treatment option for refluxing varicose veins.