Varicose veins are a common disease

Here you will find important studies and guidelines on the topic

14. September 2014

Uniform standard for Europe on the use of sclerotherapy in varicose disease

The first European guidelines on the treatment of varicose veins were published in 2014 and adopted by 23 international phlebology societies. They take into account extensive scientific findings on the effectiveness of sclerotherapy and provide a European standard.

Although sclerotherapy is a widely used procedure, there have not previously been any international guidelines. The aim of these guidelines is to standardise and improve the quality of vascular care in Europe.

The European guidelines primarily recommend sclerotherapy for all types of varicose veins. Sclerotherapy can be carried out with both liquid and foam sclerosants, whereby the active pharmaceutical ingredient polidocanol is the one most commonly used in Germany and many other European countries.

Throughout Europe, sclerotherapy with a liquid sclerosant is the treatment of choice for spider veins and reticular varicose veins, achieving more than 90% improvement. Foam sclerotherapy is considered to be a good alternative method with similar success rates.

Foam sclerotherapy has proved to be an even more effective treatment than liquid sclerotherapy for trunk and pronounced  side branch varicose veins and for varicose veins recurring after surgery. The European experts found foam sclerotherapy to be a good, cost-effective alternative to surgery. The functional results of sclerotherapy are equivalent to the surgical removal of a varicose vein.

Rabe E, Breu F, Cavezzi A, Coleridge Smith PC, Frullini A, Gillet J, Guex J, Hamel-Desnos C, Kern P, Partsch B, Ramelet A, Tessari L, Pannier F; for the Guideline Group. European guidelines for sclerotherapy in chronic venous disorders. Phlebology 2014;29:338-354

Author: Sophia Post