Radiofrequency Ablation or laser for Endovenous Laser Ablation?

Posted by mmiller72 @mmiller72, Jul 14, 2020

I have some general medical questions about Endovenous Laser Ablation treatment. I have had a varicose vein on my ankle area since I was about 10 years old and have had another start on the other ankle. One is quite large, probably a class 4 varicose vein on one ankle.

Here are my questions:

1. Do you know if endovenous laser ablation procedure is safer and more effective than Radiofrequency Ablation?

2. Do you know if there is a concern for reopening of the blood valve later, blood clots, or the varicose vein in worse off condition?

3. Are there other concerns I should know about if going to get the ndovenous Laser Ablation treatment? I am quite active and stay active.

Thank you!

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Hi @mmiller72 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Here we are a patient-to-patient community – the most important ingredient of Connect is its members, like you. It is not designed to be a community for medical experts to give advice, but it is a place to learn from all your shared experiences, insights, suggestions, and tips. I know that two of our members @lizziemnz and @cbs61752 have had an ablation and @mlemieux may have some insight as well. Perhaps they can share their experiences with you.

The National Institute of Health did a study on comparing the two. It is a little dense to read everything, but it is very thorough.

How have you been treating your varicose veins currently?


I am not sure if one method is safer or more effective than the other. I had radio frequency ablation and have had no problems. However, I have been a little disappointed with the appearance of the skin which is still quite discoloured 4 years later. Have you spoken to a vascular surgeon? Is it possible that sclerotherapy could be an effective treatment?


Hi @mmiller72, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with Amanda @amandaburnett. I found a few articles and information that you may find helpful and thought I would share it with you.

Comparison of Endovenous Laser and Radiofrequency Ablation in Treating Varices in the Same Patient:

Video: Endovenous thermal ablation — Varicose vein care at Mayo Clinic:


I had this procedure done in early 2022. My advise would be get a second opinion & read the fine print on release forms. The procedure itself is not particularly painful. I suffer from peripheral neuropathy and this made it so much worse. I went to see the vascular doctor because my right foot was very red. I thought it could be blood pooling. They told me to expect side effects for 7-10 days. A year later, I still have numbness, swelling & stinging "zingers" in both ankles. I regret ever having it done. The ultrasound showed "insufficient" veins, but I did not have any visible varicose veins. My arteries are fine & I guess my veins are clear now too.

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