The aim of this review article was to evaluate the long-term technical success rates of the known endovenous ablation procedures in the treatment of the incompetence of the great saphenous vein.
A literature search was conducted in the PubMed-database until the 5 January 2016. All publications with four to five years follow-up were eligible. Meta-analysis was performed by the IVhet-model.
Eight hundred and sixty-two unique publications were found; 17 of them were appropriate for meta-analysis. Overall, 1420 limbs were included in the trial, 939 for endovenous laser ablation, 353 for radiofrequency ablation and 128 for ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy. Overall, technical success rates were 84.8% for endovenous laser ablation, 88.7% for radiofrequency ablation and 32.8% for ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy. There were no significant differences between endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation and ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy regarding the great saphenous vein reopening (p = 0.66; OR: 0.22; 95% of CI: 0.08-0.62 for radiofrequency ablation vs. endovenous laser ablation; p = 0.96; OR: 0.11; 95% of CI: 0.06-0.20 for endovenous laser ablation vs. ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy; p = 0.93; OR: 3.20; 95% of CI: 0.54-18.90 for ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy vs. radiofrequency ablation).
Both endovenous laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation are efficient in great saphenous vein occlusion on the long term. Lacking long-conducted large trials, the efficacy and reliability of ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy to treat great saphenous vein-reflux is not affirmed.