Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) produces boiling bubbles emerging from pores within the hot fiber tip and traveling over a distal length of about 20 mm before condensing. This evaporation-condensation mechanism makes the vein act like a heat pipe, where very efficient heat transport maintains a constant temperature, the saturation temperature of 100°C, over the volume where these non-condensing bubbles exist. During EVLA the above-mentioned observations indicate that a venous cylindrical volume with a length of about 20 mm is kept at 100°C. Pullback velocities of a few mm/s then cause at least the upper part of the treated vein wall to remain close to 100°C for a time sufficient to cause irreversible injury. In conclusion, we propose that the mechanism of action of boiling bubbles during EVLA is an efficient heat-pipe resembling way of heating of the vein wall.

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doi.org/10.1007/s10103-010-0780-2, hdl.handle.net/1765/20209
Lasers in Medical Science
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Geld, C., van den Bos, R., van Ruijven, P., Nijsten, T., Neumann, M., & van Gemert, M. (2010). The heat-pipe resembling action of boiling bubbles in endovenous laser ablation. Lasers in Medical Science, 25(6), 907–909. doi:10.1007/s10103-010-0780-2