Objective: The hypothesis that post-operative short-term compression therapy improves operation related complications in patients with uncomplicated varicose veins after endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) treatment was tested.
Methods: In this randomized trial, patients with uncomplicated varicose veins (C2 according to the CEAP classification) treated with EVLA at a single institution from January 2012 to November 2013 were enrolled. Before EVLA, patients were randomized into two groups based on whether or not (control group) they wore an elastic compression stocking (ECS group) post-operatively. The primary end point was the pain score (visual analog scale [VAS], range from 0 to 10), while secondary end points included the severity of operation related complications, the quality of life (Aberdeen Varicose Vein Symptoms Severity Score, AVVSS), and the mean time to return to work.
Results: A total of 400 patients (200 patients in each group) were included and analyzed. In the first week after EVLA, patients in the ECS group experienced less pain (p < .001) and edema (p = .01), but by 2 weeks these variables were similar between the groups. There were no significant differences in the quality of life or in the mean time to return to work.
Conclusions: The use of an ECS does not prove to be of greater benefit in the quality of life and the mean time to return to work; ECS therapy does reduce the severity of pain and oedema during the first week after surgery in patients with uncomplicated varicose veins.
Keywords: Compression therapy; Edema; Endovenous ablation; Laser; Pain; Varicose vein.
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