Doctors at the University of Heidelberg and Saarland University Hospital, both in Germany, recently completed a study comparing the effectiveness of traditional surgery and lasers in the treatment of varicose veins.
346 patients were randomly assigned to have either high ligation and stripping (HLS) or endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). Two years after treatment, patients were evaluated for the effectiveness of the treatment, quality of life, and adverse effects.
Both treatments were found to be safe, effective, and improved the patients quality of life, but there were differences.
Varicose veins recurred in 23.1% of the patients who had traditional surgery (HLS), versus 16.2% of the patients who had laser treatment (EVLT). Laser treatment resulted in better blood flow, cosmetic results, and faster recovery, but these patients experienced more swelling, tightness and skin discoloration. Blood pooling where the veins in the leg come together was higher for individuals who had laser treatment, 18% versus 1% for traditional surgery.
You can read the entire study in the September 19th edition of Archives of Dermatology.
Not all varicose veins require removal. Most can be treated with compression stockings. Talk to your doctor.