, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 1679-1686
Date: 21 Apr 2011

Retrospective Comparison of Clinical Outcomes between Endovenous Laser and Saphenous Vein-sparing Surgery for Treatment of Varicose Veins

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Abstract

Background

The purpose of the present study was to compare management of varicose veins by endovenous laser ablation (EVL) and a vein-sparing procedure (CHIVA: Conservatrice et Hémodynamique de l’Insuffisance Veineuse en Ambulatoire) for management of varicose veins.

Methods

Data from 82 consecutive patients with great saphenous vein (GSV) reflux and primary varicose veins presenting to the vascular clinic at the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital between June and December 2005 were reviewed. Of these, 74 who met the inclusion criteria were included in this study. CHIVA was performed by a double division of the refluxing saphenous vein (i.e., proximal and distal ligation), and EVL was performed using 10–14 W beginning approximately 4 cm below the saphenofemoral junction to the level of the knee. Phlebectomy for significant branch varicose veins on the leg was routinely performed in all patients. Outcome measures included postoperative thrombophlebitis, bruising, pain, assessment of ultrasonographic and clinical symptoms (measured by the Venous Clinical Severity Score [VCSS]) and comparison of quality of life survey scores obtained preoperatively and postoperatively (measured by the Aberdeen Varicose Veins Score [AVVQ] and RAND-36). Patients were examined one week post-procedurally and again at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results

Endovenous laser ablation and CHIVA were performed on 54 and 20 patients, respectively. The EVL patients had significantly higher pain scores and bruising than the CHIVA group (p < 0.001). The VCSS of varicose, edema, pigmentation, and inflammation were significantly reduced after both EVL and CHIVA; however, patients treated by EVL had significantly more pain postoperatively than those treated by CHIVA (p = 0.003). Twenty-two of 54 (40.7%) and 3 of 17 (17.6%) patients in the EVL and CHIVA groups, respectively, required sclerotherapy for residual varicosities (p = 0.026). Both groups benefited significantly from surgery in disease-specific perceptions.

Conclusions

The CHIVA patients had less pain postoperatively and a significantly higher sclerotherapy-free period compared to patients in the EVL group. Further follow-up studies to compare long-term results of various approaches to surgically managing varicose veins are needed.

C.-Y. Chan, T.-C. Chen, and Y.-K. Hsieh contributed equally to this study and share joint first authorship.