Objective: Superficial venous reflux and varicose veins are common. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to assess effectiveness of compression therapy compared with surgery for superficial venous reflux.
Methods: 153 patients with CEAP class C2-C3 and superficial venous reflux were randomized to receive either conservative treatment (compression stockings) (n = 77) or surgery (n = 76). Clinical examination including duplex ultrasound (DUS) was performed at entry and 1 and 2 years after randomization (compression group) or surgery (surgery group). Venous Clinical Severity Score without compression stockings (VCSS-S), Venous Segmental Disease Score (VSDS), Venous Disability Score (VDS), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were assessed at entry and at the follow-ups. Data were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis and according to the actual treatment performed.
Results: At 2 years, 70/76 patients in the surgery group and 11/77 patients in the compression group had been operated on. VCSS-S decreased from 4.6 to 3.5 in the compression group (p < .01) and from 4.8 to 0.6 in the surgery group (p < .001). VSDS decreased from 7.7 to 7.0 in the compression group and from 8.2 to 0.9 in the surgery group (p < .0001). HRQoL did not change in the compression group, but improved significantly in the surgery group.
Conclusion: The surgical elimination of non-complicated superficial venous reflux is an effective treatment when compared with providing compression stockings only.
Keywords: Compression therapy; Operative treatment; Superficial venous reflux; Varicose veins.
Copyright © 2014 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.