Closure of the Greater Saphenous Vein with Endoluminal Radiofrequency Thermal Heating of the Vein Wall in Combination with Ambulatory Phlebectomy: Preliminary 6-Month Follow-up


  • M.P. Goldman, MD indicates a financial interest in VNUS Technologies, Sunnyvale, CA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Mitchel P. Goldman, MD, 850 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037, or e-mail:


Background. Incompetence of the saphenofemoral junction with reflux into the greater saphenous vein is one cause of chronic venous hypertension which may lead to the development of varicose and telangiectatic leg veins. Therefore treatment is necessary.

Objective. To evaluate a novel method for closing the incompetent greater saphenous vein at its junction with the femoral vein through an endoluminal approach.

Methods. Ten patients with reflux at the saphenofemoral junction into the greater saphenous vein were treated with radiofrequency heating of the vein wall through an endoluminal catheter. Patients were evaluated at 3 and 6 months to determine treatment efficacy as well as adverse sequelae.

Results. All treated patients achieved complete closure of the saphenofemoral junction and greater saphenous vein. Complete treatment took an average of 20 minutes. Adverse sequelae were minimal, with 2 of 12 patients having mild erythema for 2–3 days.

Conclusion. Endoluminal radiofrequency thermal heating of an incompetent greater saphenous vein has been shown to be easily accomplished and efficacious throughout the 6-month follow-up period.