We assessed the safety and efficacy of endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) of the saphenous vein combined with a surgical strategy for treatment of deep venous insufficiency in the lower extremity.
Two hundred thirty venous insufficiencies of the lower limbs in 208 consecutive patients (93 men and 115 women; mean age, 54.15 years) were treated with EVLT combined with surgical strategies. All patients were symptomatic. There were 84 limbs (36.5%) in C(2), 25 (10.9%) in C(3), 109 (47.7%) in C(4), 1 (0.4%) in C(5), and 9 (3.9%) in C(6) (CEAP), and Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome was present in 2 limbs. A total of 119 (51.7%) had perforator vein incompetence. Four therapeutic methods were included in this series according to symptoms, CEAP classification, and venous reflux. Simple EVLT was performed for 15 patients with only great saphenous vein (GSV) incompetence or Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome in 19 lower limbs. EVLT combined with high ligation of the GSV and open ligation of perforators was performed for 5 patients with GSV and perforator incompetence in 5 lower limbs. EVLT was combined with high ligation of the GSV for 76 patients with GSV incompetence in 94 lower limbs. EVLT was combined with external banding of the first femoral venous valve and high ligation of the GSV for 112 patients with primary deep venous insufficiency in 112 lower limbs. All patients were followed up on an outpatient basis for physical examinations and postoperative complaints, and duplex ultrasonography was performed 2 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after operation.
All patients tolerated the procedure well and returned to normal daily activities immediately, achieving a 100% immediate clinical success rate. Spot skin burn injuries occurred in 2 patients (1.0%). Paresthesia in the gaiter area was noted in 15 patients (7.2%). No postprocedural symptomatic deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism occurred. Three patients had local recurrent varicose veins in the calf (1.4%) during a 2- to 27-month follow-up (mean, 6.12 months). Postoperative clinical classes were significantly improved between 2 weeks and 24 months (P = .0001 at 2 weeks and 3 to 18 months; P = .0055 at 24 months compared with before operation), especially in preoperative C(2) to C(3) stage patients, who achieved complete amelioration.
EVLT is a novel minimally invasive treatment with advantages of safety, effectiveness, and simplicity, and it leaves no scars. Its indications can be expanded by combining EVLT with surgical strategies.