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What is ultrasound guided endovenous laser treatment?

This question was asked in San Francisco, California and has 2 answer(s) as of 10/10/2012.
What is ultrasound guided endovenous laser treatment? How is it different from other endovenous laser treatments? Do most vein specialists perform ultrasound guided endovenous laser treatment?

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Doctors Answers (2)

Ultrasound guided endovenous laser treatment refers to using ultrasound to guide where the laser fiber is located at the start of the treatment relative to the saphenofemoral junction. That is the laser fiber should be close enough to the femoral vein and the greater saphenous vein so that it closes the entire greater saphenous vein and hence prevents reflux. The catheter should not be too close to the junction for this could lead to thrombus forming in the femoral vein (DVT). Almost all vein specialist use ultrasound to help them position the laser catheter tip relative to the saphenofemoral junction.

Endovenous laser treatment is performed by using ultrasound guidance to to stick a vein, usually the Greater Saphenous, with a needle and and placing a laser fiber into the vein, the surgeon intends to treat. This procedure was developed as a less invasive alternative to "vein stripping". It has the advantage of being less invasive than a vein stripping, and is designed to be performed using local anesthesia, in an office settings, instead of a general anesthetic, in a hospital or surgery center. The procedure received FDA approval in Jan 2001, since that time thousands of Endovenous laser treatments have been performed. Although other devices are available such as radio frequency devices are available, the laser is more versatile in treating both larger and smaller diameter as well as shorter vein segments, but there are reputable vein specialists who use radio frequency energy instead of laser. By definition, Endovenous laser treatment is ultrasound guided Endovenous laser treatment.

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