The effectiveness of various interventions versus standard stripping in patients with varicose veins in terms of quality of life

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Lower limb varicose veins have a significant effect upon the quality of life and a considerable socioeconomic impact despite their relatively benign nature. The aim of this study is to compare the effects of various therapeutic strategies among patients with varicose veins to surgical ligation and vein stripping on the basis of quality of life.


PubMed/Medline and Scopus databases were systemically searched from 1 January 2000 until 23 December 2015 for studies reporting outcome on the quality of life of different treatment techniques for varicose veins. We used Cohen’s d to make the outcomes of the reported scales comparable. Heterogeneity was calculated with the use of the Q statistic and the I2.


A total of 1047 participants were randomized across all analyzed trials. The number of participants in a single trial ranged from 30 to 308. The majority of participants in any trial were C2 on the CEAP scores. Overall, the quality of evidence was low. For the meta-analysis performed at 12 months postintervention (seven studies, n = 1047 patients) and after random effects meta-analyses due to high heterogeneity, no differences are observed between intervention and surgical ligation and vein stripping. The pooled estimate is −0.001 and the 95% confidence interval is −0.069 to 0.067 with a p = 0.98. In the case of the 24 months, postintervention analysis (six studies, n = 840 patients) the inference is almost identical. The effect of various interventional modes of treatment compared to surgical ligation and vein stripping is negligible in terms of clinical outcomes and quality of life so that surgical ligation and vein stripping versus the other interventional procedures were equally effective approaches to treat great saphenous vein incompetence in terms of quality of life measurements.


The procedures were at least equally efficient in treating patients with varicose vein disease in terms of quality of life assessment tools at 12 and 24 months compared to surgical ligation and vein stripping.

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