Purpose: To demonstrate the long-term treatment outcomes of endovenous laser ablation (EVA) of incompetent small saphenous veins (SSV) with a 980-nm diode laser.
Materials and methods: Eighty-four patients (96 limbs), with varicose veins and reflux in the SSV on duplex ultrasound examination, were treated with a 980-nm diode laser under ultrasound- or fluoroscopy-guidance. Patients were evaluated at 1 week and 1, 3, 6 months, 1 year and yearly thereafter.
Results: In the 96 limbs, the technical success rate was 100%. The SSV remained closed in 89 of 93 limbs (96%) after 1 month, all of 82 limbs after 6 months, 77 limbs after 1 year, 71 limbs after 2 years and 55 limbs after 3 years. In four limbs where recanalisation was observed, repeat EVA was done resulting in successful obliteration of the SSV. No major complication occurred however bruising (27%), tightness or pain (13%) and paraesthesia (4.2%) were observed.
Conclusion: Endovenous laser ablation with a 980-nm laser wavelength is an easy and safe procedure in incompetent SSVs. After successful treatment, there is a very low rate of recanalisation of the SSV, which suggests that the procedure will provide lasting results.