The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) reconsidered this procedure in light of comments received during the initial consultation in May 2003. As a result, NICE issued a second consultation document about its safety and efficacy.
NICE has now issued full guidance to the NHS is England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on endovenous laser treatment of the long saphenous vein.
NICE has published a guideline on varicose veins in the legs (NICE guideline CG168, 2013).
Under ultrasound guidance and local anaesthesia, a catheter is placed into the long saphenous vein. A laser fibre is passed through it and positioned below the saphenofemoral junction.
An anaesthetic agent is then injected, and the fibre is slowly withdrawn while energy from a diode laser (810 or 940 nm wavelength) is applied in short pulses. This is repeated along the entire length of the vein until the long saphenous vein is closed from the saphenofemoral junction to the point of access.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.