In view of so many disappointing testimonies regarding EVLT, would you say radiofrequency is a better treatment option for varicose veins?

I have a couple of varicose veins, but mostly have spider veins. The spider veins have "resisted" treatment (laser) because bigger veins are causing the problem on the surface, as doctors have explained to me. By reading testimonies on EVLT, I get even more discouraged about laser treatments. I have to add that (luckily) my goal is aesthetic. Would you say radiofrequency is a better option for me?

Answers from doctors (4)


Susan B Fox, D.O. RPVI, FSVM

Published on Jun 17, 2016

I would say you have to compare apples to apples and know what you're getting. If you compare radiofrequency to 1470nm laser or similar wavelength, then the results are very similar between the two treatments. If you compare older generations of laser to radiofrequency, then you are talking about a huge difference. I would recommend that the least pain is usually a radial emitting fiber at 1470 mm. When I use these fibers people have 100 percent closure of the vein and no pain and usually no bruising. Knowing exactly what generation and wavelength of laser and what type of fiber makes a difference.

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Answered by Susan B Fox, D.O. RPVI, FSVM

I would say you have to compare apples to apples and know what you're getting. If you compare radiofrequency to 1470nm laser or similar wavelength, then the results are very similar between the two treatments. If you compare older generations of laser to radiofrequency, then you are talking about a huge difference. I would recommend that the least pain is usually a radial emitting fiber at 1470 mm. When I use these fibers people have 100 percent closure of the vein and no pain and usually no bruising. Knowing exactly what generation and wavelength of laser and what type of fiber makes a difference.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Mercy Imaging Centers

Published on Jun 15, 2016

There is no significant difference between EVLT and RFA. You are talking about two different ways to skin the cat with the same end result, same risk, same success rate. A standing ultrasound exam would need to be performed to see if you would benefit from either. Both of these treatments are for long, straight (usually great sapheneous) varicose veins that are causing abnormal flow of blood because of failed valves. Neither has any role in the direct treatment of small veins near the surface.

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Answered by Mercy Imaging Centers

There is no significant difference between EVLT and RFA. You are talking about two different ways to skin the cat with the same end result, same risk, same success rate. A standing ultrasound exam would need to be performed to see if you would benefit from either. Both of these treatments are for long, straight (usually great sapheneous) varicose veins that are causing abnormal flow of blood because of failed valves. Neither has any role in the direct treatment of small veins near the surface.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


General Vascular Surgery Group

Published on Jun 14, 2016

Generally, both techniques work well. I tend to use radiofrequency more because there tends to be less post-op soreness and less bruising. The device is more expensive though.

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Answered by General Vascular Surgery Group

Generally, both techniques work well. I tend to use radiofrequency more because there tends to be less post-op soreness and less bruising. The device is more expensive though.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vanish Vein and Laser Center

Published on Jun 14, 2016

I have been using laser ablation for many years with the Thermalite 1470 diodes laser with excellent results and patient satisfaction. I used radiofrequency many years ago for about 1 year, and then stopped using it. Both procedures work, but in my opinion the laser is the procedure and technique of choice.

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Answered by Vanish Vein and Laser Center

I have been using laser ablation for many years with the Thermalite 1470 diodes laser with excellent results and patient satisfaction. I used radiofrequency many years ago for about 1 year, and then stopped using it. Both procedures work, but in my opinion the laser is the procedure and technique of choice.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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