Research we’re watching
A minimally invasive treatment for treating varicose veins is as effective as surgery to remove the faulty veins, according to a new study.
Most varicose veins — gnarled, bluish veins just under the skin’s surface — result from problems with the great saphenous vein, the large vein located near the inside of the leg that runs from the ankle to the upper thigh. The surrounding muscles and one-way valves in the vein weaken, a condition called venous insufficiency.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive treatment that uses energy delivered through a catheter to collapse and seal the faulty vein. On a total of 225 limbs, researchers compared RFA with two techniques that involve surgically removing the veins. After a two-year follow-up, recurrence rates were similar for people treated with RFA compared with surgery. The results support the increasing use of RFA to treat varicose veins, according to the authors, who published their findings in the January 2021 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders.