Article ID: 15-282
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), which is a relatively new therapeutic option for saphenous varicose veins of the legs, is less invasive than conventional stripping surgery with ligation. In this study, we evaluated the safety and effectiveness of EVLA combined with ligation for severe saphenous varicose veins that were graded as ≥ C4 by the CEAP classification. We treated 119 Japanese patients (141 limbs) between July 2005 and December 2007 utilizing a 1320-nm Nd:YAG laser. The obliteration rate of the treated veins was found to be 100% over the entire follow-up period (2.5 years). Consistent with this finding, all of the patients exhibited improved skin lesions (ie, skin pigmentation and ulceration). No major complications, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and nerve injury, were observed. A questionnaire survey with a reasonable response rate (66.4%) demonstrated that subjective symptoms and minor complications that were initially observed after EVLA, such as mild pain, numbness, indurations, and localized hot flashes, were remarkably improved by the end of the follow-up period. Furthermore, high levels of patient satisfaction were noted. Thus, EVLA combined with ligation constituted a safe and effective strategy for treating severe saphenous varicose veins in Japanese patients.