Patient-reported quality-of-life after radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins compared to conventional surgery
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- Thompson, R., Lewis, A. & Weir, C. Ir J Med Sci (2013) 182: 639. doi:10.1007/s11845-013-0944-8
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The aim of this study was to compare patient-reported quality-of-life scores after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) compared to conventional surgery using the Aberdeen Varicose Vein Questionnaire (AVVQ).
A postal questionnaire based on the AVVQ was sent out to 105 patients who underwent RFA and 50 patients who underwent surgery for varicose veins in our unit over a 14-month period. Responses were analysed according to sex and compared between the two groups to determine if there is a difference in the patient-reported quality-of-life scores. The mean AVVQ was calculated for both groups.
Responses were received from 57 patients who underwent RFA and 27 patients who had surgery. In the domains of itch, discolouration, analgesia use, ankle swelling, cosmetic concern due to their varicose veins and reporting that their varicose veins affect their choice of clothing, there was a statistically significant difference favouring RFA in female patients. Conversely, in men, there was a statistically significant difference in favour of conventional surgery in the domains of pain, itch, analgesia use, cosmetic concern, affecting choice of clothing and affecting daily activities. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean AVVQ scores.
This study has shown that for the female patients in our patient population, RFA results in generally better quality-of-life scores than conventional surgery when assessed using the disease-specific AVVQ. In this cohort, there was a statistically significant difference favouring conventional surgery in men. A number of potentially confounding variables have been discussed.