BACKGROUND. Although no randomized controlled trial has assessed the effects of either compression sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy, both techniques are used to treat varicose veins worldwide. We performed a randomized controlled trial to compare recurrence rates of varicose veins and complications after compression sclerotherapy and ambulatory phlebectomy. METHODS. From September 1996 to October 1998, we randomly allocated 49 legs to compression sclerotherapy and 49 legs to ambulatory phlebectomy. Our primary outcome parameters were as follows: recurrence rates at 1 and 2 years and complications related to therapy. Eighty-two patients were included, of whom 16 were included with both of their legs. The number of treated legs was therefore 98, but two patients were lost to follow-up. RESULTS. One year recurrence amounted to 1 out of 48 for phlebectomy and 12 out of 48 for compression sclerotherapy (P<0.001); at 2 years, six additional recurrences were found, but then solely for compression sclerotherapy (P<0.001). Significant differences in complications occurring more in phlebectomy than in compression sclerotherapy therapy were blisters, teleangiectatic matting, scar formation, and bruising from bandaging. CONCLUSION. Our results show that ambulatory phlebectomy is an effective therapy for varicose veins of the leg. Recurrence rates are significantly lower than for compression sclerotherapy therapy. If varicose veins persist 4 weeks after compression sclerotherapy, it can be argued that to reduce the risk of future recurrence ambulatory phlebectomy should be considered as the better treatment option.,
Dermatologic Surgery
Department of Dermatology

de Roos, K. P., Nieman, F., & Neumann, M. (2003). Ambulatory phlebectomy versus compression sclerotherapy: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Dermatologic Surgery, 29(3), 221–226. doi:10.1046/j.1524-4725.2003.29053.x