Three-year follow-up and quality of life of endovenous radiofrequency ablation of the great saphenous vein with the ClosureFast™ procedure: Influence of BMI and CEAP class.Vascular. 2018 Oct; 26(5):498-508.V
Purpose Endovascular ablation of the great saphenous vein has been proposed as a less invasive alternative to conventional ligation and stripping of varicose veins. Outcomes of patients treated with the radiofrequency ablation ClosureFast™ system over an eight-year period from a single-center were evaluated. Methods Three-year follow-up data included duplex ultrasound scan, complication rate, and questionnaires to assess patients' QOL, level of pain, and days off work. Results A total of 1080 consecutive patients (49.5 ± 18.6 years, 72% female, mean body mass index: 25.44 ± 4.1 kg m-2) underwent radiofrequency ablation for incompetent saphenous veins in a single institution. Occlusion of the great saphenous vein was obtained in 98.6% and 93.8% cases at the end of the procedures and within 36 months, respectively. Only three deep venous thromboses and minor complications occurred in this series throughout the first week from the procedure. A decrease of the external vein diameter, equal to 72.7% and 31.1% of the pretreatment diameter, was observed at 1 week and 36 months, respectively. The average Aberdeen Varicose Vein Questionnaire score improved from 18.06 ± 9.47 before treatment to 11.56 ± 10.23 at 12 months, with no significant differences in the subsequent follow-up. SF-36 QOL scores significantly improved after the procedure in all domains, while there were no changes over time. Patients reported a prompt return to normal daily activities (1.5 ± 0.7 days) and work (3.1 ± 1.9 days). Body mass index influenced QOL scores, while it did not affect great saphenous vein diameter reduction during the follow-up. On the contrary, Clinical Etiologic Anatomic Pathophysiologic class significantly influenced both great saphenous vein diameter reduction after the treatment and QOL scores within 36 months. Conclusion Results of this retrospective monocentric, large patients study suggest that radiofrequency ablation of the great saphenous vein may be a safe and efficient alternative to conventional surgery.