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What is the difference between VNUS and laser ablation?

I have read that both of these procedures are effective in treating varicose veins. What is the difference between these two procedures, which is more effective, and which one has less severe side effects?


Doctors Answers (6)

With VNUS procedure we are using radiofrequency energy to close your veins instead of laser energy. Both methods are 98% effective in closing your veins. With radiofrequency patients tend to have less pain during the procedure and less post procedure tenderness. In our office we have adopted VNUS as the recommended treatment.

VNUS and Laser ablation are similar techniques used to close varicose veins using a special catheter within the vein to generate precise heating within the vein and permanently closing the vein. The VNUS was the older or first generation technology (but has continued to be improved and refined) using a catheter that makes an electrical contact with the inside vein walls and is highly effective in closing the vein. The laser ablation procedure is a similar technique that uses a fiber optic catheter to deliver laser energy to the tip of the catheter located inside of the vein and is equally effective in closing the vein. The risks from these procedures are small and essentially the same with either treatment. Both choices are highly effective and I would base your choice on picking the doctor and vein center rather than between these to similar technologies.

VNUS seals the vein using electrical heat energy while laser light targets either hemoglobin or water in the blood to heat and seal the vein. Mostly it is the surgeons preference which is used and results and studies are comparable depending upon their experience. Complications are rare and discomfort should be minimal but again depends upon the experience of the surgeon.

The VNUS procedure, now called VENEFIT Closue is preformed with a catheter that uses radiofrequency as the generator to heat the cather. The laser procedure to trerat veins uses a laser generator to heat the catheter. Both are endovascular procedures to treat venous disease. In skilled hands one procedure is not better than the other.

Both methods seal the vein shut with thermal energy and are otherwise nearly identical with respect to minimal risks, high benefits, and excellent results. VNUS uses radiofrequency as a heat source whereas laser ablation uses laser.

They are both effective. One uses radio frequency fiber and the other a laser fiber. The techniques are otherwise almost identical. Insurance pays for both if you have symptomatic varicose veins.

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