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1.  Endovascular Laser Therapy for Varicose Veins 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of the MAS evidence review was to conduct a systematic review of the available evidence on the safety, effectiveness, durability and cost–effectiveness of endovascular laser therapy (ELT) for the treatment of primary symptomatic varicose veins (VV).
Background
The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) met on November 27, 2009 to review the safety, effectiveness, durability and cost-effectiveness of ELT for the treatment of primary VV based on an evidence-based review by the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS).
Clinical Condition
VV are tortuous, twisted, or elongated veins. This can be due to existing (inherited) valve dysfunction or decreased vein elasticity (primary venous reflux) or valve damage from prior thrombotic events (secondary venous reflux). The end result is pooling of blood in the veins, increased venous pressure and subsequent vein enlargement. As a result of high venous pressure, branch vessels balloon out leading to varicosities (varicose veins).
Symptoms typically affect the lower extremities and include (but are not limited to): aching, swelling, throbbing, night cramps, restless legs, leg fatigue, itching and burning. Left untreated, venous reflux tends to be progressive, often leading to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
A number of complications are associated with untreated venous reflux: including superficial thrombophlebitis as well as variceal rupture and haemorrhage. CVI often results in chronic skin changes referred to as stasis dermatitis. Stasis dermatitis is comprised of a spectrum of cutaneous abnormalities including edema, hyperpigmentation, eczema, lipodermatosclerosis and stasis ulceration. Ulceration represents the disease end point for severe CVI.
CVI is associated with a reduced quality of life particularly in relation to pain, physical function and mobility. In severe cases, VV with ulcers, QOL has been rated to be as bad or worse as other chronic diseases such as back pain and arthritis.
Lower limb VV is a common disease affecting adults and estimated to be the seventh most common reason for physician referral in the US. There is a strong familial predisposition to VV with the risk in offspring being 90% if both parents affected, 20% when neither is affected, and 45% (25% boys, 62% girls) if one parent is affected. Globally, the prevalence of VV ranges from 5% to 15% among men and 3% to 29% among women varying by the age, gender and ethnicity of the study population, survey methods and disease definition and measurement. The annual incidence of VV estimated from the Framingham Study was reported to be 2.6% among women and 1.9% among men and did not vary within the age range (40-89 years) studied.
Approximately 1% of the adult population has a stasis ulcer of venous origin at any one time with 4% at risk. The majority of leg ulcer patients are elderly with simple superficial vein reflux. Stasis ulcers are often lengthy medical problems and can last for several years and, despite effective compression therapy and multilayer bandaging are associated with high recurrence rates. Recent trials involving surgical treatment of superficial vein reflux have resulted in healing and significantly reduced recurrence rates.
Endovascular Laser Therapy for VV
ELT is an image-guided, minimally invasive treatment alternative to surgical stripping of superficial venous reflux. It does not require an operating room or general anesthesia and has been performed in outpatient settings by a variety of medical specialties including surgeons (vascular or general), interventional radiologists and phlebologists. Rather than surgically removing the vein, ELT works by destroying, cauterizing or ablating the refluxing vein segment using heat energy delivered via laser fibre.
Prior to ELT, colour-flow Doppler ultrasonography is used to confirm and map all areas of venous reflux to devise a safe and effective treatment plan. The ELT procedure involves the introduction of a guide wire into the target vein under ultrasound guidance followed by the insertion of an introducer sheath through which an optical fibre carrying the laser energy is advanced. A tumescent anesthetic solution is injected into the soft tissue surrounding the target vein along its entire length. This serves to anaesthetize the vein so that the patient feels no discomfort during the procedure. It also serves to insulate the heat from damaging adjacent structures, including nerves and skin. Once satisfactory positioning has been confirmed with ultrasound, the laser is activated. Both the laser fibre and the sheath are simultaneously, slowly and continuously pulled back along the length of the target vessel. At the end of the procedure, homeostasis is then achieved by applying pressure to the entry point.
Adequate and proper compression stockings and bandages are applied after the procedure to reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism, and to reduce postoperative bruising and tenderness. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after the procedure and most patients return to work or usual activity within a few days. Follow-up protocols vary, with most patients returning 1-3 weeks later for an initial follow-up visit. At this point, the initial clinical result is assessed and occlusion of the treated vessels is confirmed with ultrasound. Patients often have a second follow-up visit 1-3 months following ELT at which time clinical evaluation and ultrasound are repeated. If required, sclerotherapy may be performed during the ELT procedure or at any follow-up visits.
Regulatory Status
Endovascular laser for the treatment of VV was approved by Health Canada as a class 3 device in 2002. The treatment has been an insured service in Saskatchewan since 2007 and is the only province to insure ELT. Although the treatment is not an insured service in Ontario, it has been provided by various medical specialties since 2002 in over 20 private clinics.
Methods
Literature Search
The MAS evidence-based review was performed as an update to the 2007 health technology review performed by the Australian Medical Services Committee (MSAC) to support public financing decisions. The literature search was performed on August 18, 2009 using standard bibliographic databases for studies published from January 1, 2007 to August 15, 2009. Search alerts were generated and reviewed for additional relevant literature up until October 1, 2009.
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports and human studies
Original reports with defined study methodology
Reports including standardized measurements on outcome events such as technical success, safety, effectiveness, durability, quality of life or patient satisfaction
Reports involving ELT for VV (great or small saphenous veins)
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Cohort and controlled clinical studies involving > 1 month ultrasound imaging follow-up
Exclusion Criteria
Non systematic reviews, letters, comments and editorials
Reports not involving outcome events such as safety, effectiveness, durability, or patient satisfaction following an intervention with ELT
Reports not involving interventions with ELT for VV
Pilot studies or studies with small samples ( < 50 subjects)
Summary of Findings
The MAS evidence search identified 14 systematic reviews, 29 cohort studies on safety and effectiveness, four cost studies and 12 randomized controlled trials involving ELT, six of these comparing endovascular laser with surgical ligation and saphenous vein stripping.
Since 2007, 22 cohort studies involving 10,883 patients undergoing ELT of the great saphenous vein (GSV) have been published. Imaging defined treatment effectiveness of mean vein closure rates were reported to be greater than 90% (range 93%- 99%) at short term follow-up. Longer than one year follow-up was reported in five studies with life table analysis performed in four but the follow up was still limited at three and four years. The overall pooled major adverse event rate, including DVT, PE, skin burns or nerve damage events extracted from these studies, was 0.63% (69/10,883).
The overall level of evidence of randomized trials comparing ELT with surgical ligation and vein stripping (n= 6) was graded as moderate to high. Recovery after treatment was significantly quicker after ELT (return to work median number of days, 4 vs. 17; p= .005). Major adverse events occurring after surgery were higher [(1.8% (n=4) vs. 0.4% (n = 1) 1 but not significantly. Treatment effectiveness as measured by imaging vein absence or closure, symptom relief or quality of life similar in the two treatment groups and both treatments resulted in statistically significantly improvements in these outcomes. Recurrence was low after both treatments at follow up but neovascularization (growth of new vessels, a key predictor of long term recurrence was significantly more common (18% vs. 1%; p = .001) after surgery. Although patient satisfaction was reported to be high (>80%) with both treatments, patient preferences evaluated through recruitment process, physician reports and consumer groups were strongly in favour of ELT. For patients minimal complications, quick recovery and dependability of outpatient scheduling were key considerations.
As clinical effectiveness of the two treatments was similar, a cost-analysis was performed to compare differences in resources and costs between the two procedures. A budget impact analysis for introducing ELT as an insured service was also performed. The average case cost (based on Ontario hospital costs and medical resources) for surgical vein stripping was estimated to be $1,799. Because of the uncertainties with resources associated with ELT, in addition to the device related costs, hospital costs were varied and assumed to be the same as or less than (40%) those for surgery resulting in an average ELT case cost of $2,025 or $1,602.
Based on the historical pattern of surgical vein stripping for varices a 5-year projection was made for annual volumes and costs. In Ontario in 2007/2008, 3481 surgical vein stripping procedures were performed, 28% for repeat procedures. Annual volumes of ELT currently being performed in the province in over 20 private clinics were estimated to be approximately 840. If ELT were publicly reimbursed, it was assumed that it would capture 35% of the vein stripping market in the first year and increase to 55% in subsequent years. Based on these assumptions if ELT were not publicly reimbursed, the province would be paying approximately $5.9 million and if ELT were reimbursed the province would pay $8.2 million if the hospital costs for ELT were the same as surgery and $7.1 million if the hospital costs were less (40%) than surgery.
The conclusions on the comparative outcomes between laser ablation and surgical ligation and saphenous vein stripping are summarized in the table below (ES Table 1).
Outcome comparisons of ELT vs. surgery for VV
The outcomes of the evidence-based review on these treatments based on three different perspectives are summarized below:
Patient Outcomes – ELT vs. Surgery
ELT has a quicker recovery attributable to the decreased pain, lower minor complications, use of local anesthesia with immediate ambulation.
ELT is as effective as surgery in the short term as assessed by imaging anatomic outcomes, symptomatic relief and HRQOL outcomes.
Recurrence is similar but neovascularization, a key predictor of long term recurrence, is significantly higher with surgery.
Patient satisfaction is equally high after both treatments but patient preference is much more strongly for ELT. Surgeons performing ELT are satisfied with treatment outcomes and regularly offer ELT as a treatment alternative to surgery.
Clinical or Technical Advantages – ELT Over Surgery
An endovascular approach can more easily and more precisely treat multilevel disease and difficult to treat areas
ELT is an effective and a less invasive treatment for the elderly with VV and those with venous leg ulcers.
System Outcomes – ELT Replacing Surgery
ELT may offer system advantages in that the treatment can be offered by several medical specialties in outpatient settings and because it does not require an operating theatre or general anesthesia.
The treatment may result in ↓ pre-surgical investigations, decanting of patients from OR, ↓ demand on anesthetists time, ↓ hospital stay, ↓decrease wait time for VV treatment and provide more reliable outpatient scheduling.
Depending on the reimbursement mechanism for the treatment, however, it may also result in closure of outpatient clinics with an increasingly centralization of procedures in selected hospitals with large capital budgets resulting in larger and longer waiting lists.
Procedure costs may be similar for the two treatments but the budget impact may be greater with insurance of ELT because of the transfer of the cases from the private market to the public payer system.
PMCID: PMC3377531  PMID: 23074409
2.  Endovascular Radiofrequency Ablation for Varicose Veins 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of the MAS evidence review was to conduct a systematic review of the available evidence on the safety, effectiveness, durability and cost–effectiveness of endovascular radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of primary symptomatic varicose veins.
Background
The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) met on August 26th, 2010 to review the safety, effectiveness, durability, and cost-effectiveness of RFA for the treatment of primary symptomatic varicose veins based on an evidence-based review by the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS).
Clinical Condition
Varicose veins (VV) are tortuous, twisted, or elongated veins. This can be due to existing (inherited) valve dysfunction or decreased vein elasticity (primary venous reflux) or valve damage from prior thrombotic events (secondary venous reflux). The end result is pooling of blood in the veins, increased venous pressure and subsequent vein enlargement. As a result of high venous pressure, branch vessels balloon out leading to varicosities (varicose veins).
Symptoms typically affect the lower extremities and include (but are not limited to): aching, swelling, throbbing, night cramps, restless legs, leg fatigue, itching and burning. Left untreated, venous reflux tends to be progressive, often leading to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). A number of complications are associated with untreated venous reflux: including superficial thrombophlebitis as well as variceal rupture and haemorrhage. CVI often results in chronic skin changes referred to as stasis dermatitis. Stasis dermatitis is comprised of a spectrum of cutaneous abnormalities including edema, hyperpigmentation, eczema, lipodermatosclerosis and stasis ulceration. Ulceration represents the disease end point for severe CVI. CVI is associated with a reduced quality of life particularly in relation to pain, physical function and mobility. In severe cases, VV with ulcers, QOL has been rated to be as bad or worse as other chronic diseases such as back pain and arthritis.
Lower limb VV is a very common disease affecting adults – estimated to be the 7th most common reason for physician referral in the US. There is a very strong familial predisposition to VV. The risk in offspring is 90% if both parents affected, 20% when neither affected and 45% (25% boys, 62% girls) if one parent affected. The prevalence of VV worldwide ranges from 5% to 15% among men and 3% to 29% among women varying by the age, gender and ethnicity of the study population, survey methods and disease definition and measurement. The annual incidence of VV estimated from the Framingham Study was reported to be 2.6% among women and 1.9% among men and did not vary within the age range (40-89 years) studied.
Approximately 1% of the adult population has a stasis ulcer of venous origin at any one time with 4% at risk. The majority of leg ulcer patients are elderly with simple superficial vein reflux. Stasis ulcers are often lengthy medical problems and can last for several years and, despite effective compression therapy and multilayer bandaging are associated with high recurrence rates. Recent trials involving surgical treatment of superficial vein reflux have resulted in healing and significantly reduced recurrence rates.
Endovascular Radiofrequency Ablation for Varicose Veins
RFA is an image-guided minimally invasive treatment alternative to surgical stripping of superficial venous reflux. RFA does not require an operating room or general anaesthesia and has been performed in an outpatient setting by a variety of medical specialties including surgeons and interventional radiologists. Rather than surgically removing the vein, RFA works by destroying or ablating the refluxing vein segment using thermal energy delivered through a radiofrequency catheter.
Prior to performing RFA, color-flow Doppler ultrasonography is used to confirm and map all areas of venous reflux to devise a safe and effective treatment plan. The RFA procedure involves the introduction of a guide wire into the target vein under ultrasound guidance followed by the insertion of an introducer sheath through which the RFA catheter is advanced. Once satisfactory positioning has been confirmed with ultrasound, a tumescent anaesthetic solution is injected into the soft tissue surrounding the target vein along its entire length. This serves to anaesthetize the vein, insulate the heat from damaging adjacent structures, including nerves and skin and compresses the vein increasing optimal contact of the vessel wall with the electrodes or expanded prongs of the RF device. The RF generator is then activated and the catheter is slowly pulled along the length of the vein. At the end of the procedure, hemostasis is then achieved by applying pressure to the vein entry point.
Adequate and proper compression stockings and bandages are applied after the procedure to reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism and to reduce postoperative bruising and tenderness. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after the procedure. Follow-up protocols vary, with most patients returning 1 to 3 weeks later for an initial follow-up visit. At this point, the initial clinical result is assessed and occlusion of the treated vessels is confirmed with ultrasound. Patients often have a second follow-up visit 1 to 3 months following RFA at which time clinical evaluation and ultrasound are repeated. If required, additional procedures such as phlebectomy or sclerotherapy may be performed during the RFA procedure or at any follow-up visits.
Regulatory Status
The Closure System® radiofrequency generator for endovascular thermal ablation of varicose veins was approved by Health Canada as a class 3 device in March 2005, registered under medical device license 67865. The RFA intravascular catheter was approved by Health Canada in November 2007 for the ClosureFast catheter, registered under medical device license 16574. The Closure System® also has regulatory approvals in Australia, Europe (CE Mark) and the United States (FDA clearance). In Ontario, RFA is not an insured service and is currently being introduced in private clinics.
Methods
Literature Search
The MAS evidence–based review was performed to support public financing decisions. The literature search was performed on March 9th, 2010 using standard bibliographic databases for studies published up until March, 2010.
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports and human studies Original reports with defined study methodologyReports including standardized measurements on outcome events such as technical success, safety, effectiveness, durability, quality of life or patient satisfaction Reports involving RFA for varicose veins (great or small saphenous veins)Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analysesCohort and controlled clinical studies involving ≥ 1 month ultrasound imaging follow-up
Exclusion Criteria
Non systematic reviews, letters, comments and editorials Reports not involving outcome events such as safety, effectiveness, durability, or patient satisfaction following an intervention with RFAReports not involving interventions with RFA for varicose veinsPilot studies or studies with small samples (< 50 subjects)
Summary of Findings
The MAS evidence search on the safety and effectiveness of endovascular RFA ablation of VV identified the following evidence: three HTAs, nine systematic reviews, eight randomized controlled trials (five comparing RFA to surgery and three comparing RFA to ELT), five controlled clinical trials and fourteen cohort case series (four were multicenter registry studies).
The majority (12⁄14) of the cohort studies (3,664) evaluating RFA for VV involved treatment with first generation RFA catheters and the great saphenous vein (GSV) was the target vessel in all studies. Major adverse events were uncommonly reported and the overall pooled major adverse event rate extracted from the cohort studies was 2.9% (105⁄3,664). Imaging defined treatment effectiveness of vein closure rates were variable ranging from 68% to 96% at post-operative follow-up. Vein ablation rate at 6-month follow-up was reported in four studies with rates close to 90%. Only one study reported vein closure rates at 2 years but only for a minority of the eligible cases. The two studies reporting on RFA ablation with the more efficient second generation catheters involved better follow-up and reported higher ablation rates close to 100% at 6-month follow-up with no major adverse events. A large prospective registry trial that recruited over 1,000 patients at thirty-four largely European centers reported on treatment success in six overlapping reports on selected patient subgroups at various follow-up points up to 5 year. However, the follow-up for eligible recruited patients at all time points was low resulting in inadequate estimates of longer term treatment efficacy.
The overall level of evidence of randomized trials comparing RFA with surgical ligation and vein stripping (n = 5) was graded as low to moderate. In all trials RFA ablation was performed with first generation catheters in the setting of the operating theatre under general anaesthesia, usually without tumescent anaesthesia. Procedure times were significantly longer after RFA than surgery. Recovery after treatment was significantly quicker after RFA both with return to usual activity and return to work with on average a one week less of work loss. Major adverse events occurring after surgery were higher [(1.8% (n=4) vs. 0.4% (n = 1) than after RFA but not significantly. Treatment effectiveness measured by imaging defined vein absence or vein closure was comparable in the two treatment groups. Significant improvements in vein symptoms and quality of life over baseline were reported for both treatment groups. Improvements in these outcomes were significantly greater in the RFA group than the surgery group in the peri-operative period but not in later follow-up. Follow-up in these trials was inadequate to evaluate longer term recurrence for either treatment. Patient satisfaction was reported to be high for both treatments but was higher for RFA.
The studies comparing endovascular treatment approaches for VV (RFA and ELT) were more limited. Three RCT studies compared RFA (two with the second generation catheter) with ELT but mainly focused on peri-procedural outcomes such as pain, complications and recovery. Vein ablation rates were not evaluated in the trials, except for one small trial involving bilateral VV. Pain responses in patients undergoing ablation were extremely variable and up to 2 weeks, mean pain levels were significantly less with RFA than ELT ablation but differences were not significant at one month. Recovery, evaluated as return to usual activity or return to work, however, was similar in the treatment groups. Vein symptom and QOL improvements were improved in both groups but were significantly better in the RFA group than the ELT group at 2 weeks, but not at one month. Vein ablation rates were evaluated in several controlled clinical studies comparing the treatments between centers or within centers between individuals or over time. Comparisons in these studies were inconsistent with vein ablation rates for RFA reported to be similar to, higher than and lower than those with ELT.
Economic Analysis
RFA and surgical vein stripping, the main comparator reimbursed by the public system, are comparable in clinical benefits. Hence a cost-analysis was conducted to identify the differences in resources and costs between both procedures and a budgetary impact analysis (BIA) was conducted to project costs over a 5- year period in the province of Ontario. The target population of this economic analysis was patients with symptomatic varicose veins and the primary analytic perspective was that of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
The average case cost (based on Ontario hospital costs and medical resources) for surgical vein stripping was estimated to be $1,799. In order to calculate a procedural cost for RFA it was assumed that the hospital cost and physician labour fees, excluding anaesthesia and surgical assistance, were the same as vein stripping surgery. The manufacturer also provided details on the generator with a capital cost of $27,500 and a lifespan of 5 years and the disposables (catheter, sheath, guidewire) with a cost of $673 per case. The average case cost for RFA was therefore estimated to be $1,356. One-way sensitivity analysis was also conducted with hospital cost of RFA varied to 60% that of vein stripping surgery (average cost per case = $627.08) to calculate an impact to the province.
Historical volumes of vein stripping surgeries in Ontario were used to project surgeries in a linear fashion up to five years into the future. Volumes for RFA and ELT were calculated based on share capture from the surgery market based on discussion with clinical expert opinion and existing private data based on discussion with the manufacturer. RFA is expected to compete with ELT and capture some of the market. If ELT is reimbursed by the public sector then numbers will continue to increase from previous private data and share capture from the conventional surgical treatment market. Therefore, RFA cases will also increase since it will be capturing a share of the ELT market. A budget impact to the province was then calculated by multiplying volumes by the cost of the procedure.
RFA is comparable in clinical benefits to vein stripping surgery. It has the extra upfront cost of the generator and cost per case for disposables but does not require an operating theater, anaesthetist or surgical assistant fees. The impact to the province is expected to be 5 M by Year 5 with the introduction of new ELT and RFA image guided endovascular technologies and existing surgery for varicose veins.
Conclusion
The conclusions on the comparative outcomes between endovascular RFA and surgical ligation and saphenous vein stripping and between endovascular RFA and laser ablation for VV treatment are summarized in the table below (ES Table 1).
Outcome comparisons of RFA vs. surgery and RFA vs ELT for varicose veins
ELT refers to endovascular laser ablation; RFA, radiofrequency ablation
The outcomes of the evidence-based review on these treatments for VV based on different perspectives are summarized below:
RFA First versus Second Generation Catheters and Segmental Ablation
Ablation with second generation catheters and segmental ablation offered technical advantages with improved ease and significant decreases in procedure time. RFA ablation with second generation catheters is also no longer restricted to smaller (< 12 mm diameter) saphenous veins. The safety profile with the new device and method of energy delivery is as good as or improved over the first generation device. No major adverse events were reported in two multicenter prospective cohort studies in 6 month follow-up with over 500 patients. Post-operative complications such as bruising and pain were significantly less with RFA ablation with second generation catheters than ELT in two RCT trials.RFA treatment with second generation catheters has ablation rates that are higher than with first generation catheters and are more comparable with the consistently high rates of ELT.
Endovascular RFA versus Surgery
RFA has a quicker recovery attributable to decreased pain and lower minor complications.RFA, in the short term was comparable to surgery in treatment effectiveness as assessed by imaging defined anatomic outcomes such as vein closure, flow or reflux. Other treatment outcomes such as symptomatic relief and HRQOL were significantly improved in both groups and between group differences in the early peri-operative period were likely influenced by pain experiences. Longer term follow-up was inadequate to evaluate recurrence after either treatment.Patient satisfaction was high after both treatments but was higher for RFA than surgery.
Endovascular RFA versus ELT
RFA has significantly less post-operative pain than ELT but differences were not significant when pain was adjusted for analgesic use and pain differences between groups did not persist at 1 month follow-up.Treatment effectiveness, measured as symptom relief and QOL improvement were similar between the endovascular treatments in the short term (within 1 month) Treatment effectiveness measured as imaging defined vein ablation was not measured in any RCT trials (only for bilateral VV disease) and results were inconsistently reported in observational trials.Longer term follow-up was not available to assess recurrence after either treatment.
System Outcomes – RFA Replacing Surgery or Competing with ELT
RFA may offer system advantages in that the treatment can be offered by several medical specialties in outpatient settings and because it does not require an operating theatre or general anaesthesia. The treatment may result in decanting of patients from OR with decreased pre-surgical investigations, demand on anaesthetists’ time, hospital stay and wait time for VV treatment. It may also provide more reliable outpatient scheduling. Procedure costs may be less for endovascular approaches than surgery but the budget impact may be greater with insurance of RFA because of the transfer of cases from the private market to the public payer system.Competition between RFA and ELT endovascular approaches is likely to continue to stimulate innovation and technical changes to advance patient care and result in competitive pricing.
PMCID: PMC3377553  PMID: 23074413
3.  Optimising a varicose vein service to reduce recurrence. 
A prospective observational study of 63 legs in 49 patients was undertaken to evaluate the adequacy of primary varicose vein surgery performed by surgical trainees. Appropriate surgery was carried out by a surgical senior house officer (SHO) under direct consultant supervision. All patients underwent pre- and postoperative duplex scanning. The preoperative duplex scan demonstrated incompetence of the saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) or long saphenous vein (LSV) in 59 limbs, a mid-thigh perforator (MTP) in 11 limbs, and saphenopopliteal junction (SPJ) in 5 limbs. Surgery successfully abolished all sites of pre-existing reflux. The postoperative duplex scan revealed that 17 new sites of reflux, not identified preoperatively, had developed in 12 limbs. With a consultant-led service and accurate preoperative identification of sites of reflux, the surgical trainee can adequately perform varicose vein surgery. This would seem a reasonable approach to training and eliminating recurrence owing to inadequate surgery. The development of new sites of reflux within 6 months of varicose vein surgery may be owing to altered venous haemodynamics consequent upon this surgery.
PMCID: PMC2502972  PMID: 9422875
4.  Does venous function deteriorate in patients waiting for varicose vein surgery? 
We have looked at the deterioration in the condition of the lower limbs in a group of 36 patients who were waiting for a median time of 20 months for varicose vein surgery, using clinical examination, colour Duplex scanning and photoplethysmograph (95% refilling times). We found a significant deterioration in this group of patients, with four limbs initially unaffected developing reflux on Duplex scanning, of which three had clinical varicose veins (all four were offered surgery), and of the initial 56 involved limbs, 10 further sources of reflux were found (18%), necessitating alteration of the initial planned surgical procedure. No patient developed deep venous insufficiency or ulceration while on the waiting list, although there was one new case of lipodermatosclerosis. However, had surgery been undertaken after the first assessment, 14 patients (25%) would potentially have required further surgery, although accepting this as justification for allowing patients to wait takes no account of patients suffering or quality of life while waiting for operation.
PMCID: PMC1293817  PMID: 8423569
5.  Varicose veins: optimum compression following sclerotherapy. 
There is uncertainty regarding the most satisfactory technique of lower limb compression following sclerotherapy for varicose veins. We have compared a standard bandaging technique with a high pressure compression stocking in a randomised trial. Efficacy was judged on the success of injections, complications of the treatment and patient satisfaction. In the stockinged legs 144 of 156 injections were successful, compared with 117 of 147 in the bandaged group (P less than 0.001) (Chi squared). The incidence of superficial thrombophlebitis was also reduced in the stocking group. In addition, the stocking technique costs less in materials than conventional bandaging. We would recommend compression stockings for evaluation in sclerotherapy of varicose veins.
PMCID: PMC2498276  PMID: 3883876
6.  Varicose veins 
Clinical Evidence  2007;2007:0212.
Key Points
Varicose veins are considered to be enlarged tortuous superficial veins of the leg. Varicose veins are caused by poorly functioning valves in the veins, and decreased elasticity of the vein wall, allowing pooling of blood within the veins, and their subsequent enlargement.Varicose veins affect up to 40% of adults and are more common in obese people, and in women who have had more than two pregnancies.
Compression stockings are often used as first-line treatment for varicose veins, but we don't know whether they reduce symptoms compared with no treatment.
Injection sclerotherapy may be more effective than compression stockings, but less effective than surgery, at improving symptoms and cosmetic appearance. We don't know which sclerotherapy agent is the best to use.
Surgery (saphenofemoral ligation,stripping of the long saphenous vein, oravulsion) is likely to be beneficial in reducing recurrence, and improving cosmetic appearance, compared with sclerotherapy alone. We don't know whether stripping the long saphenous vein after saphenofemoral ligation improves outcomes compared with avulsion alone after ligation, or what the best method is for vein stripping. Powered phlebectomy may be as effective as avulsion, but may cause pain, bruising, and discolouration.We don't know whether radiofrequency ablation or self help are effective in people with varicose veins.
PMCID: PMC2943819  PMID: 19450366
7.  Outcome of Endovenous Laser Ablation of Varicose Veins 
Acta Informatica Medica  2014;22(5):329-332.
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
In Bosnia and Herzegovina according to available data, treatment of incompetent superficial lower extremity varicose veins by endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) has been introduced two years ago and so far no paper has been published regarding results of EVLA treatment of patients from our country. We wanted to present our results with EVLA treatment.
Aim of study:
to evaluate and compare primary posttreatment outcomes of endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) with classical surgical method of varicose vein treatment.
Patients and methods:
The study was clinical and prospective. It was carried out at Clinic for vascular surgery in Sarajevo where fifty-eight (58) patients received surgical treatment for varicose veins and in Aesthetic Surgery Center “Nasa mala klinika” in Sarajevo were sixty-one (61) patients with varicose veins were treated by endovenous laser ablation. Total 119 patients (limbs) with pathologic reflux only in great saphenous vein were evaluated between 1st of January 2013 and 31st of April 2014. Following primary outcome endpoints were evaluated smean day of return to normal everyday activities, patient subjective quantification of pain during first seven days after intervention, incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT), incidence of wound bleeding requiring surgical intervention, incidence of peri-saphenous vein hematoma and infection rate.
Results:
Mean of return to normal activities (expressed in days after intervention); EVLA vs. stripping (surgery) =1.21vs12.24, T test 13,619; p=0, 000, p<0,05. T test was used for comparing Mean value of visual pain analog scale for the first 7 days between groups, for all seven days pain was significantly higher in surgical group of patients as compared to EVLA group; p<0,05. Incidence of hematoma greater than 1% of total body surface area was significantly higher in patients receiving surgical treatment; Pearson Chi Square=23,830, p<0,05; odds ratio:10,453. Incidences of infection, deep venous thrombosis and posttreatment bleeding were not statistically different between analyzed groups; EVLA vs Surgery (Pearson Chi Square =3,237; p>0,05; Pearson Chi Square=2,139, p>0,05, Pearson Chi Square=2,139, p>0,05, respectively.)
Conclusion:
EVLA offers better patient recovery in terms of significantly lower post treatment pain, faster return to everyday activities and lower incidence of bruising (hematomas).
doi:10.5455/aim.2014.22.329-332
PMCID: PMC4272832  PMID: 25568583
varicose veins; EVLA; surgical treatment; comparison
8.  Duplex scanning may be used selectively in patients with primary varicose veins. 
Reflux was assessed using hand-held Doppler (HHD) and duplex scanning in 72 patients with primary, previously untreated varicose veins (108 limbs). The aims of the study were (i) to compare the accuracy of HHD assessment with duplex scanning, (ii) to assess the benefit of tourniquet testing and (iii) to identify patients who would benefit from a policy of selective duplex scanning. HHD accurately assesses the saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) and long saphenous vein (LSV) reflux. HHD assessment of the saphenopopliteal junction (SPJ) reflux has a low positive predictive value. A high negative predictive value reflects absent SPJ reflux assessed using HHD accurately. Tourniquet testing is not helpful. Selective duplex scanning of limbs with suspected SPJ reflux, no identifiable site of reflux or posterior thigh perforator reflux on HDD (39% of limbs), would result in the appropriate surgical procedure being performed in 102 (94%) limbs, excessive surgery in 5 (5%) limbs and inadequate surgery in only 1 (1%) limb. The use of selective criteria for duplex scanning would reduce the workload of the vascular laboratory without compromising patient care.
PMCID: PMC2503157  PMID: 10209404
9.  Varicose veins 
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:0212.
Introduction
Varicose veins are caused by poorly functioning valves in the veins, and decreased elasticity of the vein wall, allowing pooling of blood within the veins, and their subsequent enlargement. Varicose veins affect up to 40% of adults, and are more common in obese people, and in women who have had more than two pregnancies.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatments in adults with varicose veins? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to January 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 39 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: compression stockings, endovenous laser, injection sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, self-help (advice, avoidance of tight clothing, diet, elevation of legs, exercise), and surgery (stripping, avulsion, powered phlebectomy).
Key Points
Varicose veins are considered to be enlarged tortuous superficial veins of the leg. Varicose veins are caused by poorly functioning valves in the veins, and decreased elasticity of the vein wall, allowing pooling of blood within the veins, and their subsequent enlargement.Varicose veins affect up to 40% of adults and are more common in obese people, and in women who have had more than two pregnancies.
Compression stockings are often used as first-line treatment for varicose veins, but we don't know whether they reduce symptoms compared with no treatment.
Injection sclerotherapy may be more effective than compression stockings, but less effective than surgery, at improving symptoms and cosmetic appearance. We don't know which sclerotherapy agent is the best to use.
Surgery (saphenofemoral ligation, stripping of the great saphenous vein, or avulsion) is likely to be beneficial in reducing recurrence, and improving cosmetic appearance, compared with sclerotherapy alone. We don't know whether stripping the great saphenous vein after saphenofemoral ligation improves outcomes compared with avulsion alone after ligation, or what the best method is for vein stripping.We found insufficient evidence on the effects of powered phlebectomy, radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser, or self-help.However, endovenous procedures (radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser) are increasingly used in mainstream clinical practice, and further evidence comparing them to other active treatments is emerging.
PMCID: PMC3217733  PMID: 21477400
10.  Fluoroscopy-Guided Endovenous Sclerotherapy Using a Microcatheter Prior to Endovenous Laser Ablation: Comparison between Liquid and Foam Sclerotherapy for Varicose Tributaries 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2014;15(4):481-487.
Objective
To compare the efficacy and adverse effects of endovenous foam sclerotherapy (EFS) and liquid sclerotherapy (ELS) using a microcatheter for the treatment of varicose tributaries.
Materials and Methods
From December 2007 to January 2009, patients with venous reflux in the saphenous vein were enrolled. The foam or liquid sclerosant was injected through a microcatheter just before endovenous laser ablation (EVLA). Patients were evaluated for the technical success, clinical success, and procedure-related complications during the procedure and follow-up visits.
Results
A total of 94 limbs were included: 48 limbs (great saphenous vein [GSV], 35; small saphenous vein [SSV], 13) were managed using EFS and EVLA (foam group; FG), and 46 limbs (GSV, 37; SSV, 9) were treated by ELS and EVLA (liquid group; LG). Varicose tributaries demonstrated complete sclerosis in 92.7% with FG and in 71.8% with LG (p = 0.014). Bruising (78.7% in FG vs. 73.2% in LG, p > 0.05), pain or tenderness (75.6% in FG vs. 51.2% in LG, p = 0.0237) were noted. Hyperpigmentation (51.2% in FG vs. 46.2% in LG, p > 0.05) was found.
Conclusion
Endovenous foam sclerotherapy using a microcatheter is more effective than ELS for eliminating remnant varicose tributaries prior to EVLA. However, EFS is more commonly associated with local complications such as pain or tenderness than ELS. Furthermore, both techniques seem to prolong the duration of hyperpigmentation along with higher costs.
doi:10.3348/kjr.2014.15.4.481
PMCID: PMC4105811  PMID: 25053908
Varicose vein; Sclerotherapy; Laser
11.  Varicose veins: optimum compression after surgery and sclerotherapy. 
Graduated compression stockings are used in both surgical and non-surgical treatment of varicose veins. In a trial of high versus low compression stockings (40 mmHg vs 15 mmHg at ankle) after varicose vein surgery, both were equally effective in controlling bruising and thrombophlebitis, but low compression stockings proved to be more comfortable. In a further trial after sclerotherapy, high compression stockings alone produced comparable results to Elastocrepe bandages with stockings. It is concluded that after varicose vein surgery low compression stockings provide adequate support for the leg and that after sclerotherapy, bandaging is not required if a high compression stocking is used.
PMCID: PMC2499037  PMID: 2690721
12.  Effect of Hydroxyethylrutosides on Blood Oxygen Levels and Venous Insufficiency Symptoms in Varicose Veins 
British Medical Journal  1971;2(5754):138-141.
Oxygen levels (tension, saturation, and content) in blood from varicose leg veins were found to be significantly lower than those in blood from normal leg veins at the same site on the limb under the same laboratory conditions. Treatment with hydroxyethylrutosides significantly increased the oxygen levels in blood from varicose veins, and this was associated with an improvement in leg symptoms attributable to venous insufficiency. Hydroxyethylrutosides have been shown to have a beneficial effect on capillary dysfunction in venous stasis.
PMCID: PMC1795604  PMID: 5581491
13.  What are the symptoms of varicose veins? Edinburgh vein study cross sectional population survey 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;318(7180):353-356.
Objective
To define the relations between age, sex, lower limb symptoms, and the presence of trunk varicose veins on clinical examination.
Design
Cross sectional population study.
Setting
12 general practices with catchment areas geographically and socioeconomically distributed throughout Edinburgh.
Participants
An age stratified random sample of 1566 people (699 men and 867 women) aged 18-64 selected from the computerised age-sex registers of participating practices.
Main outcome measures
Self administered questionnaire on the presence of lower limb symptoms and physical examination to determine the presence and severity of varicose veins.
Results
Women were significantly more likely than men to report lower limb symptoms such as heaviness or tension, swelling, aching, restless legs, cramps, and itching. The prevalence of symptoms tended to increase with age in both sexes. In men, only itching was significantly related to the presence and severity of trunk varices (linear test for trend, P=0.011). In women there was a significant relation between trunk varices and the symptoms of heaviness or tension (P⩽0.001), aching (P⩽0.001), and itching (P⩽0.005). However, the level of agreement between the presence of symptoms and trunk varices was too low to be of clinical value, especially in men.
Conclusions
Even in the presence of trunk varices, most lower limb symptoms probably have a non-venous cause. Surgical extirpation of trunk varices is unlikely to ameliorate such symptoms in most patients.
Key messagesIn this population survey women were more likely than men to report a wide range of lower limb symptomsIn men, only itching was significantly related to the presence of trunk varicesIn women there was a significant relation between trunk varices and heaviness or tension, aching, and itchingThe level of agreement between the presence of symptoms and trunk varices is probably too low to be clinically usefulA thorough clinical history and examination should be carried out before surgery
PMCID: PMC27720  PMID: 9933194
14.  Case report: Varicosity of the communicating vein between the left renal vein and the left ascending lumbar vein mimicking a renal artery aneurysm: Report of an unusual site of varicose veins and a novel hypothesis to explain its association with abdominal pain 
A communicating vein between the left renal vein and the left ascending lumbar vein has only rarely been reported in the imaging literature. There are very few reports of varicosity of this communicating vein. Nonetheless, awareness about this communicating vein is of utmost importance for surgeons performing aortoiliac surgeries and nephrectomies as it may pose technical difficulties during surgery or cause life-threatening retroperitoneal hemorrhage. Varicosity of this venous channel may be mistaken for paraaortic lymphadenopathy, adrenal pseudo-mass, or renal artery aneurysm. We report a case of a patient with varicosity of this communicating vein, which mimicked a left renal artery aneurysm. A novel hypothesis is also proposed to explain the relationship with abdominal pain.
doi:10.4103/0971-3026.76050
PMCID: PMC3056365  PMID: 21431029
Ascending lumbar vein; communicating vein; renal artery; renal vein; varicosity
15.  www.Accurate Information for Varicose Vein patients.com? 
INTRODUCTION
The aim of this study was to review the information available to the public regarding the treatment of varicose veins on dedicated UK-based websites.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Websites were identified by using the Google® search engine. All identified websites were examined, noting the range of treatments explained and their stated potential complications. Website ownership was also recorded.
RESULTS
A total of 49 websites were identified, belonging to individual physicians (21), private clinics or groups (15), national institutions (4) and device/drug manufacturers (4). Five websites were simply redirecting portals and, hence, were excluded from further analysis. Treatment methods discussed were conventional surgery (32), endovenous laser [EVLA] and/or radiofrequency ablation [RFA] (31), and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy [UGFS] (27). Only 19 websites (43%) discussed all treatment methods. Complications mentioned following surgery were: cutaneous nerve damage (56%), recurrence (56%), infection (53%), bleeding (41%) and venous thrombo-embolism (38%). Complications following EVLA/RFA were: cutaneous nerve damage (42%), recurrence (42%), venous thrombo-embolism (39%) and burns (35%). Complications following UGFS were: pigmentation (59%), venous thrombo-embolism (48%), ulceration (41%), recurrence (41%), allergy (26%) and visual disturbance (26%).
CONCLUSIONS
Over 50% of the websites examined did not mention all the management methods now available for varicose veins. More importantly, the majority of the websites did not warn of the common complications of intervention. Currently, information on the Internet cannot be relied upon to supplement informed consent and may actually generate unrealistic patient expectations.
doi:10.1308/003588408X318219
PMCID: PMC2728301  PMID: 18831866
Endovenous ablation; Complication; Varicose veins; Internet
16.  Morbidity of varicose vein surgery: auditing the benefit of changing clinical practice. 
During two consecutive study periods (24 months and 16 months), 997 patients (1322 legs) with varicose veins underwent surgical treatment in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, using a variety of surgical techniques. The average length of stay was 1.5 days, and 95.5% of patients had a hospital stay of less than 2 days. Complications occurred in seven inpatients. A further 16 patients developed complications requiring readmission to hospital (10 minor and intermediate; 6 major). The complication rate appeared to be operator-dependent: an increased complication rate (particularly major complications) occurred after surgery by junior surgeons. Major complications included femoral vein injury (1 patient), postoperative deep venous thrombosis (4 patients), pulmonary embolism (1 patient) and groin lymphatic fistula requiring reoperation (1 patient). Between the first and second study period, a change in policy regarding the type of bandaging used and the use of postoperative antiembolic stockings occurred and appears to have reduced the incidence of thromboembolic complications from 0.7% to 0.2%. Varicose vein surgery is not without major complications though, fortunately, there was no mortality in this series. These complications can be minimised with good surgical technique and better supervision of surgical trainees. Modification of postoperative management can further enhance the safety of this procedure.
PMCID: PMC2502581  PMID: 8712648
17.  Comparing the Effectiveness of 1064 vs. 810 nm Wavelength Endovascular Laser for Chronic Venous Insufficiency (Varicose Veins) 
Laser Therapy  2013;22(4):247-253.
Background and Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of Endovenous Laser Photocoagulation (EVLP) at wavelengths of 1064 nm versus 810 nm for chronic venous insufficiency (varicose veins) in a large series of patients.
Study Design/Materials and Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of 108 patients with chronic venous insufficiency treated over a 8-year period. Subjects' ages ranged between 16 to 79 years; there were 83 females and 25 males, all of whom were Asian. Patients (n=54) received EVLP at wavelengths of 1064 nm (EVLP-1064 nm), Nd:YAG laser. Subsequent patients (n=54) received 810 nm (EVLP-810 nm), Diode laser. The primary efficacy measurement was the quantitative assessment of final outcome for 1064 nm versus 810 nm. Patients were monitored for adverse effects as well.
Results: Complications were observed at 3 weeks (early), 6 weeks (late) and 6 months after EVLP. In both groups, the commonest complication in early convalescence was swelling. This was followed by Local paraesthesia, pigmentation, superficial burns, superficial phlebitis, and localized hematomas. At 6 weeks postoperatively, local paraesthesia, persistent hyperpigmentation, and minimal scarring were presented. These problems all disappeared completely after the 6 months study period. Based on chi-squared analysis, there were clinical, and statistically significant differences in the severity score of final results favoring the EVLP-810 nm group.
Conclusion: All patients achieved good or excellent improvement after EVLP-1064nm and EVLP-810nm. However, the difference of final outcome was significant, and indicates that improvement was greater in the Diode group. Further studies of different wavelengths and optimization of cryogen spray cooling (CSC) may lead to improved results in the eradication of varicose veins.
doi:10.5978/islsm.13-OR-19
PMCID: PMC3916664  PMID: 24511201
18.  An update in varicose vein pathology after ten years of endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) with a 980 nm diode laser: clinical experience of a single center 
Laser Therapy  2013;22(4):269-273.
Aim: To show our experience in the surgical treatment of superficial vein insufficiency of the lower limbs.
Subjects and methods: Since 2002 we have performed 659 procedures of endovascular laser therapy (EVLT) (group A) in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency of the great saphenous vein using a 980 nm diode laser. A closely matched group of 100 patients (50 Group A, 50 Group B) with homogeneous clinical findings (CEAP classification) was controlled with a mean follow-up of 18 months in our more recent experience (3 years). Most patients operated on in this period were lost to follow-up.
Results: The Final results showed that EVLT can be used only in a specific selected group of cases based on anatomy and hemodynamics and while 980 nm EVLT could not be selected as the best treatment for this pathology, it could be placed side by side with conventional therapy.
Conclusions: In our one year's more recent experience, we observed an increased number of patients treated with conventional therapy. The development of new laser tools (new wavelengths and continuous radial laser) and the improvement of clinical follow up may lead us to a more correct application of EVLT in the absence of randomized trials because of widespread clinical findings and poor pathological follow-up of this approach to superficial venous insufficiency.
doi:10.5978/islsm.13-OR-22
PMCID: PMC3916667  PMID: 24511204
superficial venous insufficiency; laser therapy; saphenous stripping
19.  How Should a Candidate Assess Varicose Veins in the MRCS Clinical Examination? A Vascular Viewpoint 
INTRODUCTION
Varicose veins are a common problem and, therefore, regularly feature in the vascular bay of the MRCS clinical examination. Candidates are still being instructed to perform tests in the examination that are considered by many to be obsolete and inaccurate. Using the current cohort of vascular examiners, we aim to clarify which tests a candidate should be performing when assessing varicose veins. We also aim to assess basic surgical trainees' experience in the use of hand-held Doppler (HHD).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Postal questionnaires were sent to all English College Court examiners with a declared vascular interest to gain their opinion on what tests should be used in the vascular bay to assess primary varicose veins. E-mail questionnaires were also sent to basic surgical trainees to assess their experience in the use of hand-held Doppler to assess varicose veins.
RESULTS
There was a 100% response rate from the examiners with 93%, 86% and 79% feeling that clinical examination, HHD examination of the SFJ and HHD examination of the SPJ, respectively, should form part of the examination of primary varicose veins in the vascular bay. Only 50% indicated the Trendelenburg test and cough impulse and 57% believed the tap test should form part of the examination of varicose veins. Of the BSTs, 53% believed they could examine varicose veins with HHD. Of the BSTs who could use HHD, 74% had held a vascular SHO post.
DISCUSSION
Published data and opinion show many consultant surgeons have totally abandoned the use of the Trendelenberg, cough, tap and Perthes tests and support the opinion that HHD increases the accuracy of the examination of varicose veins. This study shows the opinions of the examiners supports the evidence-based recommendations that, in the light of easily accessible HHD, the older tests are now outdated. The majority of BSTs who were able to use HHD had held a vascular SHO post (74%) but otherwise it was unlikely that the BST would be comfortable with this skill.
CONCLUSIONS
The Brodie-Trendelenburg (tourniquet) test, cough impulse and tap test are outdated but candidates should be aware of the principles and failings behind them. In the MRCS clinical examination, candidates should examine varicose veins by means of clinical examination and HHD as this is now accepted standard practice. To aid candidate education, the HHD technique should replace traditional clinical tests which continue to be taught in medical school and remain within the classical surgical text books.
doi:10.1308/003588406X98595
PMCID: PMC1963680  PMID: 16720005
Varicose veins; MRCS; Clinical examination; Trendelenberg test; Hand-held Doppler
20.  An integrated approach in the treatment of varicose ulcer 
Ancient Science of Life  2013;32(3):161-164.
Venous ulcers (stasis ulcers, varicose ulcers) are the wounds occurring due to inappropriate functioning of venous valves, usually of the legs. It is one of the most serious chronic venous insufficiency complications. The overall incidence rate is 0.76% in men and 1.42% in women. When a venous valve gets damaged, it prevents the backflow of blood, which causes pressure in the veins that leads to hypertension and, in turn, venous ulcers. These are mostly along the medial distal leg, which is often very painful, can bleed, and get infected. Treating varicose ulcers is a difficult task to the physician and a nightmare to the suffering patients, though a good number of the treatment principles are mentioned and practiced in allied sciences. In Ayurveda, this condition is considered as duṣṭa vraṇa. It can be managed with the specific s’odhana therapy. So, the same treatment protocol was used to treat the case discussed here, i.e. with Nitya virecana and by Basti karma. The wound was successfully treated and, therefore, is discussed in detail.
doi:10.4103/0257-7941.123000
PMCID: PMC3902537  PMID: 24501445
Basti karma; Dustha vrana; Nitya virechana; varicose ulcer
21.  Complications following re-exploration of the groin for recurrent varicose veins. 
BACKGROUND: Groin surgery for recurrent varicose veins can be technically difficult due to scarring from previous surgery. Access to the sapheno-femoral junction (SFJ) can be facilitated by approaching the veins indirectly (subfascially) by first exposing the common femoral artery. The aim of this paper was to document experience with both direct and indirect approaches to the SFJ for recurrent varicose veins. METHOD: A retrospective analysis of all patients having groin surgery for recurrent varicose veins. RESULTS: Of 128 legs having surgery, the approach to the SFJ was direct in 46%, indirect in 53% and unknown in one leg. Complications occurred after 40% of all procedures but were significantly more common following indirect surgery (57% versus 20%, P < 0.001), of which the most frequent were of a lymphatic nature (26% versus 5%, P < 0.001) or wound infection (16% versus 7%, P = 0.05). CONCLUSION: Wound complications are common following groin surgery for recurrent varicose veins especially after an indirect approach to the SFJ.
PMCID: PMC2503383  PMID: 11518377
22.  Support for varicose veins. 
British Medical Journal  1976;1(6004):254-256.
A method has been devised to allow reliable comparison of different strengths and constructions of support hosiery. Five garments were evaluated for the compression they exerted on the leg and their ability to limit the distension of a model varicose vein. Stockings and tights which provide modest compression can achieve worthwhile control of vein distension.
PMCID: PMC1638528  PMID: 1247807
23.  Evidence for unmyelinated C fibres and inflammatory cells in human varicose saphenous vein 
The physiopathology of venous symptoms, such as pain, leg heaviness or swelling sensations, in chronic venous disease (CVD) remains unclear. Localized release of proinflammatory mediators appears to play a key role but the presence of nociceptors sensitive to inflammatory mediators, such as unmyelinated C fibres, needs to be demonstrated. The present study included 10 patients with documented CVD who underwent surgery for saphenectomy. For each patient, five segments of the great saphenous vein were immunostained with anti-S100 protein and anti-CD45 to identify nerve fibres and inflammatory cells, respectively. Light microscopy was completed by electron microscopy. In all patients, S100 immunopositive nerve fibres and CD45 immunopositive cells were observed. Under an electron microscope, advanced signs of wall remodelling were systematically observed. The density of nerve fibres was low and variable from one sample to another. Unmyelinated C fibres were mainly located in the external part of the media and to a lesser extent in the internal part of the adventitia. Inflammatory cells, mainly histiocytes, were scattered in the media. Mast cells were observed in three patients. In conclusion, unmyelinated C fibres and inflammatory cells are present in the varicose saphenous vein wall. Their linked roles in symptoms of CVD should be further explored.
PMCID: PMC3005413  PMID: 22477593
C fibres; Chronic venous disease; Electron microscopy; Immunohistochemistry; Inflammatory cells; Varicose veins
24.  Quantification of Superficial Venous Reflux by Duplex Ultrasound—Role of Reflux Velocity in the Assessment the Clinical Stage of Chronic Venous Insufficiency 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2014;7(4):376-382.
Objectives: This study we compare the duplex-derived parameters of reflux in patients with early and advanced superficial venous insufficiency (SVI) to identify parameters reflecting this.
Methods: Two thousand and one hundred sixty limbs with primary reflux, categorized according to the CEAP (clinical, etiologic, anatomic and pathophysiologic) classification, and the patients were divided into two groups (group I [C1–3, Ep, As, Pr]; group II [C4–6, Ep, As, Pr]) were studied. The vein diameter, reflux duration(s), mean reflux velocity (MRV; cm/s), peak reflux velocity (PRV; cm/s), and total reflux volume (TRV; ml/s) were determined at the sapheno-femoral junction (SFJ), great saphenous vein (GSV) and sapheno-popliteal junction (SPJ).
Results: Age and the proportion of males were greater in group II. MRV, PRV and TRV were greater in group II at the SFJ, SPJ and in GSV (p <0.01 for all), although the duration of SPJ reflux was non-discriminatory (p = 0.78). From receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, optimal cut-off points of 27.8, 47.8, and 36.2 cm/s for the PRV at the SFJ (p <0.01), GSV (p <0.01), and SPJ (p <0.01) discriminated between the two groups.
Conclusion: PRV and MRV improved discrimination between early and advanced SVI compared to reflux duration.
doi:10.3400/avd.oa.14-00047
PMCID: PMC4293187  PMID: 25593622
varicose vein; duplex scan; superficial venous insufficiency
25.  Clinical examination of varicose veins--a validation study. 
The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of clinical tests compared to colour duplex imaging in patients with primary varicose veins using a prospective, blinded comparison study. A total of 44 patients (70 limbs) with primary, previously untreated varicose veins presenting to the vascular laboratory of a university teaching hospital were studied. The patients underwent physical examination using the cough test, the tap test, Trendelenbergs' test, Perthes' test and hand-held Doppler (HHD) assessment prior to undergoing colour duplex scanning. Reflux was detected on duplex scanning, at the sapheno-femoral junction in 39/70 limbs (54%), the long saphenous vein in 47/70 limbs (64%) and the sapheno-popliteal junction in 9/70 limbs (13%). The cough test had low sensitivity (0.59) and specificity (0.67). The tap test had low sensitivity (0.18) and high specificity (0.92). The Trendelenberg test had high sensitivity (0.91) but low specificity (0.15). Perthes' test had a high sensitivity (0.97) but low specificity (0.20). Hand-held Doppler assessment of reflux at the sapheno-femoral junction, in the long saphenous vein and at the sapheno-popliteal junction had high sensitivity (0.97, 0.82, and 0.80, respectively) and specificity (0.73, 0.92, and 0.90, respectively) of detecting reflux. Clinical tests used in the examination of patients with primary varicose veins are inaccurate. Assessment using hand-held Doppler is more accurate. Courses and clinical textbooks should be revised to replace these tests with instruction in how to use hand-held Doppler in the clinical examination of patients with varicose veins.
PMCID: PMC2503433  PMID: 10858678

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