Duplex ultrasound changes in the great saphenous vein after endosaphenous laser occlusion with 808-nm wavelength.
ABSTRACT Endosaphenous laser ablation is used in the treatment of great saphenous vein insufficiency with various methods, with and without surgical interruption. However, its mode of action and indications are not yet clear.
To verify the mode of action of endosaphenous laser ablation by duplex ultrasound (DUS) follow-up, with the support of histologic observations of eight cases, 44 of 182 affected limbs (CEAP C2 to C6) were selected for intravenous laser ablation of the great saphenous vein. Saphenofemoral junction incompetence was treated by surgical interruption. An 808-nm diode laser (Eufoton, Trieste, Italy) was used (variable pull-back velocity, 1 to 3 mm/s; power, 12 to 15 W; energy, 30 to 40 J/cm). In eight limbs the venous fragments were studied under light microscopy at 5 minutes and after 1 and 2 months. In 44 limbs DUS and clinical examinations were performed from 7 days to 1, 2, 6, and 12 months.
Variously organized thrombi containing necrotic inclusions and patent areas were observed in the vein lumen. Neither neovascularization nor thrombus extension were detected at the groin by DUS examination. Progressive venous diameter decrease and thrombus fibrotic transformation up to the hypotrophic venous disappearance at 12 months were followed up (P < .00001). Not occluded (18.8%), recanalized short segments (22.7%), two entirely recanalized saphenous veins with varicose recurrence (4.5%), and postoperative phlebitis (13.6%) were observed. Nonocclusions and phlebitis prevailed in the larger veins (P < .05).
The healing process is based on vein thrombosis, fibrosis, and venous atrophy. Saphenofemoral interruption makes venous occlusion easier and prevents potential thrombotic complications and recurrence by recanalization. DUS monitoring makes possible to follow-up the thrombus involution and perform early retreatment. The 808-nm endosaphenous laser should be mainly applied to veins of <10 mm in diameter.