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Radiofrequency Ablation for Axial Reflux Associated with Foam Sclerotherapy for Varicosities in One-Step Approach: A Prospective Cohort Study Comprising Large Diameters Saphenous Veins

Douglas Poschinger-Figueiredo, , , Claudia Salvador Amorim, Cristiane Ferreira de Araujo Gomes, Cristina Ribeiro Riguetti-Pinto, Monica Rochedo Mayall, Leonardo Silveira de Castro, Felipe Borges Fagundes
Published: 1 July 2021

Abstract: Objective: This study assessed the outcomes and impact on the quality of life following one-step outpatient radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy (USGFS) for large reflux with varicosities in the great saphenous vein (GSV). Design: Prospective, single-centre, analytical cohort. Materials and Methods: Thirty symptomatic patients having reflux in the GSV and varicosities (CEAP C3 to C6) were treated with RFA and USGFS simultaneously, in a single-step procedure, from March 2016 to December 2016. They were followed up at 1 week, 6 months, 1 and 3 years. Clinical outcomes, changes in the Quality of Life (QOL) questionnaires SF-36™, VCSS and AVVQ, evolutive vein occlusion rates were assessed by duplex ultrasound, and ulcer closure was checked. Results: The sample was divided into two groups: (Group 1) GSV diameter ≥ 13.0 mm (median 19.0 [14– 24]), 17 subjects, and (Group 2) GSV diameter ≤ 12.9 mm (median 10.3 [10– 12]), 16 subjects. No major adverse event was observed, and the postoperative minor adverse event rates were similar between the two groups. A significant improvement was observed in VCSS and AVVQ from the preoperative levels to the sixth month and the third-year follow-up. Twelve of 13 ulcers had healed at 1 year and remained closed until 3 years. The entire sample had a significant increase in all short form 36 domains, except for mental health in the Group 2 (GSV ≥ 13.0 mm). Overall first week occlusion rate for the whole sample was 90.9% and 69.7% at the 3-year follow-up. No difference in occlusion rate was observed between the two groups at any time. Conclusion: Exclusively outpatient combined techniques were safe and feasible in this study with no major adverse events, despite the large diameters of the GSV or ulcer presence. Within 3 years, both diameter groups showed equivalent improvement in all QOL parameters, satisfactory axial occlusion, and maintained ulcer closure.
Keywords: saphenous vein / varicose veins / varicose ulcer / quality of life / catheter ablation / sclerotherapy

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