Objective: Several studies indicate that ELT using wavelengths of high water absorption showed advantages compared to conventional ELT. Thulium–Lasers emit nearby the local absorption maximum of water at 1940nm. In this clinical study the effectiveness, safety and the feasibility of 1940nm-ELT is proven.
Materials and Method: A single centric, prospective observational study was performed. 1940nm-laserenergy was applied using radial emitting fibres with continuous pullback (1mm/s). Treatment was performed under anesthesia (general, spinal, tumescent) thus simultaneous miniphlebectomy and ligation of perforators could be applied. Patient and technical details were systematically collected. Evaluation included: standardized questionnaire, clinical examination, color-duplex ultrasonography preoperatively, 3d, 4w, 6m postoperatively, statistic.
Results: The 1940nm-ELT study include 55 patients (female/men=34/21, mean age 55y, range 23-90y) treating n=72 vessels. The mean maximum diameter of great saphenous veins (GSV, n=59) was 7.5mm (range 3.7–11.3mm) and of small saphenous veins (SSV, n=13) was 5.3mm (3.0-10.0mm). The mean applied longitudinal endovenous energy density (LEED) was 64.3J/cm (40.3-98.2J/cm) in GSVs and 51.0J/cm (37.6-72.7J/cm) in SSVs. Complete occlusion of the vein without sign of reflux was achieved in 100%. The mean length of non-occluded stump at the sapheno-femoral junction was 6.0mm (1.0-20.0mm). Postoperative reduction of the diameter of GSV was 1.6mm (21.3%) and 2.0mm (37.7%) in SSV. One (1.4%) endovenous heat induced thrombus (EHIT) was observed. Further adverse events were: paresthesia 10/72 (13.9%), ecchymosis 1/72 (1.4%), lymphocele 1/72 (1.4%), hyperpigmentation 1/72 (1.4%). The mean postoperative pain intensity was 1.3 and 1.8 single doses of analgesics were administered. Normal physical activity was reached after 3d (1-21d).
Conclusion: 1940nm-ELT using radial light application effectively eliminates the reflux in insufficient saphenous veins by a significant diameter reduction. The risk profile correlates with other endothermal treatment options. Low postoperative pain and analgesic requirements with rapid convalescence indicate a high level of patient comfort.
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