Recommendation ID
Optimal interventional and conservative treatments at different stages of disease:- What is the optimal treatment (compression, surgery, endothermal ablation or foam sclerotherapy) for varicose veins at each of the CEAP stages, that is CEAP stages 2–3, CEAP stage 4 and CEAP stages 5–6?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- Much of the research into the optimum treatment for varicose veins has involved patients with varicose veins in CEAP stages C2 and C3, so little is known of the relative efficacies of treatment at the more severe stages of disease. Furthermore, some studies have included patients with varicose veins at a range of stages without subgrouping, which may conceal important differences in efficacy between different treatments at different stages of disease. Hence current treatment recommendations, which do not differentiate between patients with varicose veins at different stages, may not be equally effective for all patients.
A large-scale RCT that compares the 4 main treatments (compression, surgery, endothermal ablation and foam sclerotherapy) in subgroups with varicose veins at different stages is needed. The use of CEAP to categorise the disease stages is not ideal because higher CEAP stages do not necessarily indicate greater severity. However, other methods of categorisation are even more problematic. Quality-of-life measures are unlikely to reflect severity of disease because of variations in perception of symptoms. In addition, measuring the degree of venous reflux would necessitate a method of quantifying reflux in the superficial venous system in a way that adequately reflects disease severity, and such a method does not currently exist.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Varicose veins: diagnosis and management
Date issued
July 2013

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 01/08/2013