The treatment of varicose veins

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Over the past few years, there has been a move to less invasive endoluminal methods in the treatment of lower limb varicose veins combined with a renewed interest in sclerotherapy, with the recent addition of foam sclerotherapy. The development of these new techniques has led many to question some of the more conventional teaching on the treatment of varicose veins. This review examines these new treatments for lower limb varicose veins and the current evidence for their use.


An extensive search of available electronic and paper-based databases was performed to identify studies relevant to the treatment of varicose veins with particular emphasis on those published within the last 10 years. These were analysed by both reviewers independently.


There is no single method of treatment appropriate for all cases. Conventional surgery is safe and effective and is still widely practised. Whilst the new treatments may be popular with both surgeons and patients, it is important that they are carefully evaluated not only for their clinical benefits and complications when compared to existing treatments but also for their cost prior to their wider acceptance into clinical practice.

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