OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study is to report the complications seen in the endovascular laser treatment of varicose veins of the lower limbs. METHODS: From June 1999 to December 2002, 250 patients submitted to the endovascular treatment of varicose veins of the lower limbs using lasers and suffering from complications, such as skin burns, saphenous neuritis, hyperpigmentation and fibrosis along the course of the saphenous vein, were assessed. The diagnosis of the complications was made clinically based on the signs and symptoms evidenced. Of the 250 patients, aged 25-79 years, treated in the Hospital Militar de Buenos Aires, 196 were female and 54 were male. High power 810 nm wavelength laser diodes were applied using semi-rigid 400 and 600-micron fiber-optic quartz systems in continuous contact with the skin. Percentages were used for statistical analysis. MRESULTS: Burn-type injuries were observed in 3.2% of cases, hyperpigmentation in 9.6%, fibrosis along the course of the saphenous vein over at least 6 months in 5.6% and saphenous neuritis in 4.8%. CONCLUSION: We concluded that the endovascular laser treatment for varicose veins of the lower limbs is not free from complications; therefore, all factors involved should be identified and assessed.
lasers; varicose veins; lower extremities