Minimally invasive techniques in the treatment of saphenous varicose veins.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Jan; 60(1):110-9.JA
Lower extremity venous insufficiency is common and increases with age. In addition to classical symptoms, it may result in skin changes and venous ulcers. Chronic venous insufficiency has a great impact on patients' health-related quality of life and is associated with considerable health care costs. Surgical ligation of the junction with or without stripping has been the standard of care in the treatment of insufficient great and small saphenous veins. However, the recurrence rates are relatively high and surgery may be associated with serious adverse events and considerable down time; it is also cosmetically suboptimal. To improve efficacy, patients' health-related quality of life and treatment satisfaction and to reduce serious side effects, costs, and postoperative pain, several minimally invasive techniques have been introduced in the last decade. Dermatologists have played an important role in the development of these new therapies of truncal varicose veins. Of the new therapies, ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, endovenous laser therapy, and radiofrequency ablation are the most common and challenge surgery as the "gold standard" of care for patients with varicose veins. The objective of this review is to inform clinicians about these 3 therapeutic options for truncal varicose veins and to describe and compare the procedures, indications, efficacy, and safety profile.