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.

Perforating veins, Radiofrequency ablation, Varicose veins,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Bos, R.R, Wentel, T, Neumann, H.A.M, & Nijsten, T.E.C. (2009). Treatment of incompetent perforating veins using the radiofrequency ablation stylet: A pilot study. Phlebology, 24(5), 208–212. doi:10.1258/phleb.2009.008090