The results of surgery for small saphenous varicose vein (SSV) varicosities may be suboptimal in terms of recurrence and complications. The role of minimally invasive alternatives remains incompletely defined. The aim was to review the medium-term outcomes of ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) for SSV.
Eighty-six patients (92 legs) undergoing UGFS for SSV were assessed before, and 1, 6 and 12 months after treatment. Outcome measures were occlusion of, and abolition of reflux in, the SSV (technical success), absence of visible varicose veins (clinical success) and improvement in disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL) following treatment (Aberdeen Varicose Vein Symptom Severity Score (AVSS)).
The technical and clinical success rates at 12 months were 91 and 93 per cent respectively; only three patients required a second treatment. After treatment of isolated SSV varicosities there was a significant improvement in AVSS, from a median of 19·0 (interquartile range 13·4 26·8) before treatment to 10·2 (4·0 18·3) and 9·7 (3·5 19·1) at 6 and 12 months respectively. The only complication was a popliteal vein thrombosis that required anticoagulation.
UGFS was an effective treatment for SSV, with abolition of reflux and visible varicose veins, and improvement in HRQL for at least 12 months.