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Abstract: Ambulatory phlebectomy versus compression sclerotherapy: results of a randomized controlled trial.


de Roos KP, Nieman FH, Neumann HA.


Department of Dermatology, Bernhoven Hospital, Veghel, The Netherlands.


Dermatol Surg. 2003 Mar;29(3):221-6.


BACKGROUND: Although no randomized controlled trial has assessed the effects of either compression sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy, both techniques are used to treat varicose veins worldwide. We performed a randomized controlled trial to compare recurrence rates of varicose veins and complications after compression sclerotherapy and ambulatory phlebectomy. METHODS: From September 1996 to October 1998, we randomly allocated 49 legs to compression sclerotherapy and 49 legs to ambulatory phlebectomy. Our primary outcome parameters were as follows: recurrence rates at 1 and 2 years and complications related to therapy. Eighty-two patients were included, of whom 16 were included with both of their legs. The number of treated legs was therefore 98, but two patients were lost to follow-up. RESULTS: One year recurrence amounted to 1 out of 48 for phlebectomy and 12 out of 48 for compression sclerotherapy (P<0.001); at 2 years, six additional recurrences were found, but then solely for compression sclerotherapy (P<0.001). Significant differences in complications occurring more in phlebectomy than in compression sclerotherapy therapy were blisters, teleangiectatic matting, scar formation, and bruising from bandaging. CONCLUSION: Our results show that ambulatory phlebectomy is an effective therapy for varicose veins of the leg. Recurrence rates are significantly lower than for compression sclerotherapy therapy. If varicose veins persist 4 weeks after compression sclerotherapy, it can be argued that to reduce the risk of future recurrence ambulatory phlebectomy should be considered as the better treatment option.


Vascular Surgery Varicose Veins