Is there a risk for lymphatic complications after endovenous laser treatment versus cryostripping of the great saphenous vein? A prospective study

Phlebology. 2008;23(1):10-4. doi: 10.1258/phleb.2007.007015.


Objective: To investigate whether lymphatic complications occur after endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) versus cryostripping.

Methods: A prospective analysis of patients who underwent lymphoscintigraphy before and six months after treatment of primary varicose veins.

Results: Of 120 patients randomized in a clinical trial comparing EVLT and cryostripping, 33 agreed to participate in this study. Six months after treatment, none of the 17 patients treated with EVLT and one (6.3%) of the 16 patients treated with cryostripping had clinical grade 1 lymphoedema, with marked disruption of the lymphatics around the knee. This patient also showed an abnormal uptake of radioactive tracer at the groin, 120 min after injection.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that no lymphatic complications occurred six months after EVLT, whereas one lymphatic complication occurred after cryostripping, however not in the groin but at the knee.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cryosurgery / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Ligation / adverse effects
  • Lymphatic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphatic Diseases / etiology*
  • Lymphedema / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Risk Assessment
  • Saphenous Vein / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Varicose Veins / surgery*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*