Mechanochemical ablation as an alternative to venous ulcer healing compared with thermal ablation

Sung Yup Kim, Scott R. Safir, C. Y.Maximilian Png, Peter L. Faries, Windsor Ting, Ageliki G. Vouyouka, Michael L. Marin, Rami O. Tadros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: We aimed to compare mechanochemical ablation (MOCA) and thermal ablation (radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser therapy) for venous ulcer healing in patients with clinical class 6 chronic venous insufficiency. Methods: Electronic medical records were reviewed of patients with venous ulcers who underwent truncal or perforator ablation between February 2012 and November 2015. These records contained history of venous disease and ulcer history, procedures, complications, follow-up, method of wound care, and current status of the ulcer. The patients were grouped according to the method of ablation for comparison. Results: In 66 patients, 82 venous segments were treated, 29 with thermal methods and 53 with MOCA; 16% of patients had prior venous intervention. Before ablation, three patients in the thermal group had a history of deep venous thrombosis compared with seven in the MOCA group. On average, patients treated with MOCA were older (thermal ablation, 57.2 years; MOCA, 67.9 years; P = .0003). Ulcer duration before intervention ranged from 9.2 months for thermal ablation to 11.2 months for MOCA (P = NS). In total, 74% of patients treated with MOCA healed their ulcers compared with 35% of those treated with thermal ablation (P = .01). A healed ulcer was defined as elimination of ulcer depth and superficial skin coverage. The mean time to heal was 4.4 months in the thermal ablation group compared with 2.3 months with MOCA (P = .01). The mean length of follow-up was 12.8 months after thermal ablation and 7.9 months after MOCA (P = .02). Both age (P = .03) and treatment modality (P = .03) independently had an impact on ulcer healing on multiple logistic regression analysis. All but two patients were treated with an Unna boot after venous ablation. Complications included readmission of two patients with nonaccess-related infections, one nonocclusive deep venous thrombosis, and one late death unrelated to the procedure second to pneumonia in the setting of advanced colon cancer. There were three recurrent ulcers at 1 week, 2 months, and 7 months after MOCA that rehealed with Unna boot therapy and continued compression. Conclusions: MOCA is safe and effective in treating chronic venous ulcers and appears to provide comparable results to methods that rely on thermal ablation. Younger age and use of MOCA favored wound healing. MOCA was an independent predictor of ulcer healing. Randomized studies are necessary to further support our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-705
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Ulcer
  • Venous ablation
  • Venous insufficiency


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