Varicose veins are a common disease

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14. July 2014

A new study confirms that foam sclerotherapy is a good alternative to surgery

New minimally invasive treatment modalities for varicose veins are becoming more and more popular. The recently published results of a comparative study, carried out in the Netherlands, confirm the great potential of foam sclerotherapy and highlight its advantages over surgical treatment.

Surgical stripping has been the standard treatment for trunk varicose veins for many years. A clinical trial was carried out to compare the effectiveness and costs of foam sclerotherapy with those of surgical treatment.

Of the 430 patients enrolled in the trial, 230 patients were treated with foam sclerotherapy. Two hundred patients in the comparator group underwent surgical stripping.

The study showed that two years after treatment there was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to probability of recurrence of varicose veins. The most important criterion of success from the clinical point of view – recurrent reflux associated with venous symptoms – was similar in the two groups. Health-related quality of life also improved equally well in the two groups. Both stripping and foam sclerotherapy were shown to be safe and effective methods.
There was, however, a clear difference in the treatment costs. At the end of two years, the average costs per patient were 774 EUR in the sclerotherapy group and 1824 EUR for surgery. Foam sclerotherapy therefore reduces the costs by more than half.

Shadid N et al. Randomized clinical trial of ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy versus surgery for the incompetent great saphenous vein. Br J Surg 2012;99(8):1062–1070

 
Author: mwo