Objectives: To assess the quality of life of patients undergoing sapheno-femoral junction (SFJ) ligation and long saphenous vein stripping (LSV), using two different techniques.
Design: Prospective, randomised trial.
Materials and methods: Eighty patients were recruited and randomised to either Perforate Invagination (PIN) stripping (43) or Conventional stripping (37). Patients completed the Short Form 36 (SF-36) and EuroQol (EQ) questionnaires preoperatively, and postoperatively at 6 weeks and 6 months.
Results: Bodily pain, role function and physical summary were significantly improved at 6 months in the PIN stripping group. In the Conventional group, bodily pain and physical function were similarly improved, but not role function. EQ global quality of life was significantly and progressively improved at 6 weeks and 6 months in the PIN group (global score p<0.003; self-rated score p <0.001). In the Conventional group there was no overall improvement in global score or self-rated health.
Conclusions: Primary varicose vein surgery is associated with significant and progressive improvements in quality of life scores. Whilst overall quality of health does improve in the Conventional group, this appears to be to a lesser extent than in the PIN group.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Limited.