Varicose Veins in Ambulatory Surgery: Patients' Perception

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Abstract

Introduction:

It is mandatory to perform venous surgery in ambulatory surgery units. The aim of this study is to analyse the patient's perception concerning the period before hospital discharge.

Study design:

This was a prospective observational study of 100 patients who underwent primary varicose vein surgery. Venous disease was assessed according to the CEAP classification and VCSS system. The perception of anxiety or psychological apprehension was documented by simple questions. Additionally, we recorded the daily postoperative pain, the return to normal activity and the patient's satisfaction score.

Results:

Four patients required unplanned admission from the ambulatory surgery floor to the hospital unit: two for medical reasons (urinary retention and haematomas) and two ladies who stayed overnight because of a severe anxious state. When questioned about the potential anxiety before hospital discharge, the majority of patients (87%) declared no psychological apprehension. Eleven patients decided to leave the hospital despite potential distress. Patients with distress were more frequently male (p = .75) with superficial phlebitis (p = .49), pre-operative painful varicose veins (p = .13) and a higher number of surgical incisions (p = .35). The only significant difference existing between patients with or without anxiety was regarding the complication rate in the recovery room (p = .04).

Conclusion:

Despite careful patient selection, psychological distress could not be prevented or predicted. There is no doubt however that taking these emotional factors into consideration in outpatient surgical practice is essential.

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