Compression versus No Compression after Endovenous Ablation of the Great Saphenous Vein: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Ann Vasc Surg. 2017 Jan:38:72-77. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2016.08.008. Epub 2016 Aug 20.


Background: The goal of this study is to determine if compression therapy after endovenous ablation (EVA) of the great saphenous vein (GSV) improves efficacy and patient-reported outcomes of pain, ecchymosis, and quality of life.

Methods: This is a prospective randomized controlled trial from 2009 to 2013 comparing the use of thigh-high 30-40 mm Hg compression therapy for 7 days versus no compression therapy following EVA of the GSV. Severity of venous disease was measured by clinical severity, etiology, anatomy, pathophysiology scale and the Venous Clinical Severity Score (VCSS). Quality of life assessments were carried out with a Chronic Venous Insufficiency Questionnaire (CIVIQ-2) at days 1, 7, 14, 30, and 90, and the Visual Analog Pain Scale daily for the first week. Bruising score was assessed at 1 week post procedure. Postablation venous duplex was also performed.

Results: Seventy patients and 85 limbs with EVA were randomized. EVA modalities included radiofrequency ablation (91%) and laser ablation (9%). Clinical severity, etiology, anatomy, pathophysiology class and VCSS scores were equivalent between the 2 groups. There was no significant difference in patient-reported outcomes of postprocedural pain scores at day 1 (mean 3.0 vs. 3.12, P = 0.948) and day 7 (mean 2.11 vs. 2.81, P = 0.147), CIVIQ-2 scores at 1 week (mean 36.9 vs. 35.1, P = 0.594) and 90 days (mean 29.1 vs. 22.5, P = 0.367), and bruising score (mean 1.2 vs. 1.4, P = 0.561) in the compression versus no compression groups, respectively. Additionally, there was a 100% rate of GSV closure in both groups and no endothermal heat-induced thrombosis as assessed by postablation duplex.

Conclusions: Compression therapy does not significantly affect both patient-reported and clinical outcomes after GSV ablation in patients with nonulcerated venous insufficiency. It may be an unnecessary adjunct following GSV ablation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Compression Bandages*
  • Ecchymosis / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pressure
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Saphenous Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Saphenous Vein / physiopathology
  • Saphenous Vein / surgery*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Venous Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Venous Insufficiency / surgery*