Treatment of incompetent perforating veins using the radiofrequency ablation stylet: A pilot study
Background: Although the role of incompetent perforating veins (IPV) in chronic venous insufficiency remains controversial, they are often treated by surgical or by minimal invasive techniques. Objectives: To describe the procedure of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of IPV and to evaluate its short-term effectiveness and safety. Methods: In a clinical pilot study, 14 IPV in 12 patients were treated with a radiofrequency stylet. After three months, ultrasound (US) examination was used to assess anatomical success rate and exclude deep venous thrombosis. Also, self-reported side-effects were investigated. Results: Of the 14 treated IPV, nine (64%) were obliterated on US examination and the others showed remaining reflux. Two patients reported localized paresthesia, but no deep venous thrombosis was recorded. Conclusion: RFA of IPV may be a promising procedure, but patient and incompetent perforator vein selection is important and further standardization of the procedure is required. Comparative clinical trials between RFA and other therapies are warranted.