Information for the public

Benefits and risks

Benefits and risks

When NICE looked at the evidence, it decided that endovenous mechanochemical ablation for varicose veins is safe enough and works well enough for use in the NHS. The 9 studies that NICE looked at involved a total of about 930 patients.

Generally, they showed the following benefits:

  • less pain during and after the procedure than with radiofrequency ablation, and a similar improvement in symptoms

  • effective closure of 81–95% varicose veins

  • return to usual activities within 1–4 days.

The studies showed that the risks included:

  • a blood clot in a leg in 1 patient and in a lung in 2 patients, which got better after drug treatment

  • temporary nerve injury causing hypersensitivity in the lower leg in 1 patient

  • inflammation of a blood vessel in the treated leg in 0–14% of patients

  • hardening and pain at the injection site in 12–18% of patients

  • abscess at the injection site in 1 patient and a mild wound infection in 1 patient

  • bruising at the injection site in less than 1% to 9% of patients

  • changes in skin colour in 5–12% of patients.

If you want to know more about the studies, see the guidance. Ask your health professional to explain anything you don't understand.

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