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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 129-132

Comparison of radiofrequency ablation and conventional surgery in the treatment of varicose veins

Department of General Surgery, Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jibin Leons
Department of General Surgery, Medical College Hospital, Kottayam - 686 008, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ksj.ksj_33_22

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Background: This retrospective study was aimed to compare the outcomes between radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and conventional surgery which included the Trendelenburg procedure, multiple perforator ligation, hook phlebectomy and stripping for the treatment of varicose veins using Clinical, Etiological, Anatomical, and Pathophysiological classification (CEAP) and Venous Clinical Severity Score (VCSS) in a tertiary care centre. Materials and Methods: The pre-operative and post-operative CEAP classification and VCSS were calculated. The satisfaction from the surgery was assessed using a structured questionnaire and data analysed using IBM SPSS software. Results: The majority of the patients in the study belonged to the age group of 41–50 years. Females comprised 58% and housewives comprised 35% of the total patients. Patients with a body mass index of 18.5–24.9 constituted almost 44%. Twenty-four individuals had a family history of varicose veins. Doppler studies showed that at 83%, the most common pathology was sapheno-femoral junction (SFJ) and perforator incompetence. Five per cent of individuals had perforator incompetence alone. Thirty-four per cent of the individuals underwent RFA. The improvement in CEAP was 3.03 ± 1.513 in RFA group and 2.91 ± 1.279 in conventional surgery group; statistical analysis did not show any significant difference between the groups. The post-operative VCSS improved from 7.94 ± 1.718 in conventional surgery group and 7.38 ± 1.706 in RFA group to 1.52 ± 1.070 and 1.03 ± 0.577, respectively. The most common problem after surgery was saphenous neuralgia (8%). The severity of pain in the 1st week after the intervention was 'very mild' for most of the patients who underwent RFA (47.1%), and moderate for those in conventional surgery group (37.9%). The average days to return to normal activity were 10.26 ± 3.96 and 3.44 ± 1.637 in conventional surgery and RFA groups, respectively, whereas the average days to return to work were 17.41 ± 5.418 and 9.50 ± 1.846 days, respectively. Conclusion: The results indicate that both RFA and conventional surgeries in the form of the Trendelenburg procedure, stripping, phlebectomy and perforator ligation provide comparable relief of symptoms and clinical improvement when applied for the treatment of varicose veins. However, RFA may offer a significant advantage over conventional surgery in terms of faster recovery and early return to normal life and work.

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