Comparison of endovenous laser ablation and high ligation and stripping for varicose vein treatment: A meta-analysis

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Objectives: To evaluate the efficiency and safety of endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) for primary lower extremity varicosities compared with high ligation and stripping (HLS). Method: Prospective non-randomized studies and randomized control trials on comparison of EVLA and HLS in treating varicose vein were included in this study. A meta-analysis on the data of suitable 13 clinical trials was performed using the Mantel-Haenszel method and the risk ratio was calculated. Thirteen studies including a total of 2245 limbs were eligible for inclusion. Among them, 1128 limbs were treated with endovenous laser ablation, whereas 1117 were treated with high ligation and stripping. Primary outcome measures were technical success rates and recurrence rates at different follow-up duration and complication rates. Results: No significant difference in initial technical success rates, Procedural failures were more common following EVLA compared with conventional surgery at one- and two-year follow-up. However, the duplex-detected and clinical recurrence rate was similar between conventional surgery and EVLA after one and two years. No statistical significance was found in postoperative phlebitis and bruise in EVLA and HLS (17.9% versus 21.5%). However, fewer complications were observed in EVLA compared with HLS, including bleeding and haematoma (1.28% versus 4.83%), wound infection (0.33% versus 1.91%) and paraesthesia (6.73% versus 11.27%). Conclusions: EVLA for varicose veins is safe and effective compared with HLS in a two-year range. More randomized controlled studies follow-up results are needed to clarify long-term recurrence (5 years).




Pan, Y., Zhao, J., Mei, J., Shao, M., & Zhang, J. (2014). Comparison of endovenous laser ablation and high ligation and stripping for varicose vein treatment: A meta-analysis. Phlebology, 29(2), 109–119.

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