Lower energy endovenous laser ablation of the great saphenous vein with 980 nm diode laser in continuous mode

Hyun S. Kim, Ikechi J. Nwankwo, Kelvin Hong, Patrick S.J. McElgunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess clinical outcomes, complication rates, and unit energy applied using 980 nm diode endovenous laser treatment at 11 watts for symptomatic great saphenous vein (GSV) incompetence and reflux disease. Methods: Thirty-four consecutive ablation therapies with a 980 nm diode endovenous laser at 11 watts were studied. The diagnosis of GSV incompetence with reflux was made by clinical evaluation and duplex Doppler examinations. The treated GSVs had a mean diameter of 1.19 cm (range 0.5-2.2 cm). The patients were followed with clinical evaluation and color flow duplex studies up to 18.5 months (mean 12.19 months ± 4.18). Results: Using 980 nm diode endovenous laser ablation in continuous mode, 100% technical success was noted. The mean length of GSVs treated was 33.82 cm (range 15-45 cm). The mean energy applied during the treatment was 1,155.81 joules (J) ± 239.50 (range 545.40-1620 J) for a mean treatment duration of 90.77 sec ± 21.77. The average laser fiber withdrawal speed was 0.35 cm/sec ± 0.054. The mean energy applied per length of GSV was 35.16 J/cm ± 8.43. Energy fluence, calculated separately for each patient, averaged 9.82 J/cm2 ± 4.97. At up to 18.5 months follow-up (mean 12.19 months), 0% recanalization was noted; 92% clinical improvement was achieved. There was no major complication. Minor complications included 1 patient with hematoma at the percutaneous venotomy site, 1 patient with thrombophlebitis on superficial tributary varices of the treated GSV, 24% ecchymoses, and 32% self-limiting hypersensitivity/tenderness/ "pulling" sensation along the treatment area. One patient developed temporary paresthesia. Four endovenous laser ablation treatments (12%) were followed by adjunctive sclerotherapies for improved cosmetic results. Conclusion: Endovenous laser ablation treatment of GSV using a 980 nm diode laser at 11 watts in continuous mode appears safe and effective. Mean energy applied per treated GSV length of 35.16 J/cm or mean laser fluence of 9.82 J/cm2 appears adequate, resulting in 0% recanalization and low minor complication rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalCardiovascular and interventional radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Diode laser
  • Great saphenous vein
  • Laser ablation, endovenous
  • Valvular incompetence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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