Endovenous laser ablation of varicose veins
Endovenous laser treatment can be performed in the office under local anesthesia and is associated with virtually no recovery period. Better understanding of the primary mechanism of energy transfer by direct contact between the laser fiber tip and vein wall has underscored the importance of vein emptying. Improved utilization of tumescent anesthesia has helped facilitate circumferential laser fiber to vein wall contact and virtually eliminated the incidence of heat-related complications. Further refinements in the technique and optimization of laser energy parameters have improved success rates of vein closure from 90% to nearly 100%. Compared to surgery, endovenous laser has also demonstrated lower rates of recurrence largely due to the absence of neovascularity. This review of endovenous laser treatment should validate this exciting technique as a scientifically acceptable option for eliminating truncal vein reflux. If measured by patient acceptance and satisfaction, endovenous laser and other minimally invasive methods have already supplanted traditional surgery as the treatment of choice for superficial venous insufficiency.