Recovery after ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy compared with conventional surgery for varicose veins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


Background: The advantages of minimally invasive alternatives such as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) over conventional surgery for the treatment of varicose veins include lower morbidity and faster recovery times. The aim was to compare morbidity, analgesia use, and time to return to driving and work following UGFS with those reported after conventional surgery for varicose veins. Methods. Patients who had UGFS or surgery for varicose veins were sent a questionnaire 4 weeks after treatment. Results: A total of 332 (84.9 per cent) of 391 patients who had UGFS and 53 (56 per cent) of 94 who had surgery returned a questionnaire. The groups were similar in terms of age, sex, and the proportion who had treatment of bilateral or recurrent veins. Patients who had surgery were more likely to have significant bruising (44 versus 7-2 per cent; P <0.001) and pain (17 versus 5.5 per cent; P = 0.001). After UGFS, 43.2 per cent of patients returned to work within 24 h compared with none who had surgery (P <0.001). Patients who had UGFS were more likely to return to driving within 4 days (P = 0.014). Conclusion: UGFS was associated with less pain and analgesia requirement, time off work and quicker return to driving.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1267
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009