Combined endovenous laser therapy and microphlebectomy in the treatment of varicose veins: Efficacy and complications of a large single-center experience.J Vasc Surg. 2008 Oct; 48(4):947-52.JV
This study evaluated the safety and clinical and anatomic effectiveness of endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) and microphlebectomy in the treatment of varicose veins secondary to saphenous reflux.
From January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2007, 1985 EVLT procedures were performed in 1559 eligible patients (1263 women) with a mean age of 52.8 years (range, 18-89 years). A 810-nm diode laser and microphlebectomy were used. All sites of superficial axial reflux above and below the knee were ablated. Symptoms of venous insufficiency were present in 97%, and 102 patients (6.54%) had an open ulcer when they underwent operation. Patients had clinical follow-up visits, including duplex ultrasound examination, at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and yearly and were assessed for deep venous thrombosis (DVT), recanalization of the ablated vein, nerve injury, ulcer healing, and resolution of symptoms.
A total of 1652 great saphenous veins (83.22%), 285 small saphenous veins (14.36%), 40 anterolateral tributaries (2.02%), and 8 posteromedial tributaries (0.40%) were ablated. An average of 19 phlebectomies were performed per case treated (range, 1-58). The primary ablation rate at 15 and 30 months was 91.26% and 78.25% by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Recanalization occurred in 35 veins (1.76%); in this group, 15 (42.9%) exhibited symptoms of venous insufficiency and were successfully closed with a second EVLT. Body mass index >30 kg/m(2) and a vein diameter >/=8.5 mm were the only factors predictive of recanalization. Postoperatively, the 102 ulcers showed healing at a mean of 5.2 weeks (range, 2-10 weeks), and only three reopened (2.94%). No major complications occurred. Two DVT (0.13%) occurred, but no pulmonary emboli or skin burns. Local transient paresthesia at the ankle and midcalf level occurred in 38 patients (2.43%).
EVLT of all sites of superficial axial reflux above and below the knee and microphlebectomy demonstrated that the combined approach is safe and effective at eliminating reflux, affording symptomatic relief, and healing ulcers. It offers the additional advantage of resolving varicose veins and its cause in just one visit, leading to immediate better cosmetic results.