n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Tumescentless endovenous radiofrequency ablation with local hypothermia and compression technique




Modern surgical management of chronic venous insufficiency is possible since the development of catheter-based minimally invasive techniques, including radio-frequency ablation (RFA) and the application of colour Doppler sonography. RFA technology requires the use of tumescent anaesthesia, which prolongs the operating time. Instilling tumescent anaesthesia percutaneously below the saphenous fascia is the steepest part of the learning curve. In our study, we compared operative and postoperative results of tumescentless RFA and RFA with tumescent anaesthesia, to investigate the necessity of tumescent anaesthesia.

A total of 344 patients with Doppler-confirmed great saphenous vein insufficiency underwent RFA between January and December 2012. Patients were divided into two groups according to anaesthetic management. Group 1 consisted of 172 patients: tumescent anaesthesia was given before the ablation procedure, and group 2 contained 172 patients: a local hypothermia and compression technique was used; no tumescent anaesthesia was administered. The visual analogue scale (VAS) was used and ecchymosis scores of the patients were recorded. Clinical examinations were performed at each visit and Doppler ultrasonography was performed in the first and sixth month.
Mean ablation time was significantly lower in group 2 compared to group 1 (7.2 vs 18.9 min; < 0.05). Skin burn and paresthesia did not occur. The immediate occlusion rate was 100% for both groups. No significant difference was found between the groups in terms of VAS and ecchymosis scores. All patients returned to normal activity within two days. The primary closure rate of group 1 was 98.2% and group 2 was 98.8% at six months, and there was no significant difference between the groups ( >0.05).
Eliminating tumescent infusion is a desirable goal. Tumescentless endovenous RFA with local hypothermia and compression technique appears to be safe and efficacious. Our technique shortens the operation time and prevents patient procedural discomfort.


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