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Two Common Varicose Vein Treatment Options Equally Effective

varicose vein treatment optionsVein treatment options include sclerotherapy, laser treatment and surgery. A new study found that laser vein treatment and surgery are about equally effective at treating leg veins.

Researchers said both treatments equally improved the severity of the disease and the patient’s quality of life. In addition, patients were satisfied with both treatments.

“Our opinion is that both procedures can be equally offered to the patients with great saphenous vein insufficiency,” said lead researcher Dr. Knuth Rass, from Saarland University Hospital in Homburg, Germany.

The study included 346 patients who were assigned to undergo either a surgical procedure or a laser treatment to remove veins.

During the surgery, the vein is tied off through a small incision at the hip; during the laser procedure, the laser’s burst of light causes the vein to disappear.

The researchers did two years of follow-up with patients, looking for recurrence, blood flow in the vein and other side effects, as well as evaluating patient satisfaction.

Minor Differences in Varicose Vein Treatment Options

The study did find minor differences between the laser and surgical treatment options for varicose veins.

For those who had laser treatment, recurrence was 16.2 percent compared to 23.1 percent of those who had surgery. Researchers said the difference may have been due to chance.

Ultrasound showed that more patients who had the laser treatment developed one form of the condition in which the blood flows backward through the vein (17.8 percent of laser treatment patients compared to 1.3 percent of surgical patients). There were also more minor side effects with the laser treatment.

Some benefits associated with laser vein treatment compared to surgery included better blood flow in the legs, a faster recovery and a better cosmetic outcome.

Overall, patients were happy with the vein procedure they underwent. “Ninety-eight percent of the study population would undergo each treatment once again, when asked two years after treatment,” Rass said.
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