This study aims to compare the outcome 2years after treatment of varicose veins by endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) or surgery by assessing recurrence, venous clinical severity score (VCSS) and quality of life.
A total of 121 patients (137 legs) were randomised to either EVLA or saphenofemoral ligation and stripping of the great saphenous vein (GSV). Follow-up included clinical and duplex ultrasound examinations, VCSS and quality of life questionnaires.
A total of 18 (26%) and 25 patients (37%) in the EVLA and surgery group, respectively, developed recurrent varicose veins (not significant (NS) between groups). The source of reflux was not significantly different between the groups. Technical failure occurred in three EVLA and two surgery patients, reflux in the anterior accessory GSV, the groin, thigh and calf perforators was found in six, two, four, and three EVLA patients, and in three, three, nine and six surgery patients. VCSS, Aberdeen Varicose Vein Severity Score and several domains of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF36) quality of life score improved significantly in both groups.
No significant differences in clinical or ultrasound recurrences were found between EVLA and surgery groups. Our study also shows that similar improvements in clinical severity scores and quality of life were gained in both treatments.