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Treatment of varicose veins.

Varicose veins (VVs) are the most common manifestation of chronic venous insufficiency, affecting 25% of women and 15% of men. Reticular veins and telangiectasias (spider veins) are found in more than 80% of the general population. VVs produce symptoms of pain, swelling, heaviness, fatigue, and pruritus and predispose patients to complications including bleeding, superficial thrombophlebitis, and ulcerations that interfere with activities of daily living and result in lost time from work. Current treatments for VVs include conservative measures, and when these are unsuccessful, more invasive surgical and endovenous interventions primarily aimed at reducing venous hypertension and preventing progression to chronic inflammation and ulcerations. Surgical procedures including saphenous vein stripping, ligation of the saphenofemoral junction, and ambulatory phlebectomy are effective in the treatment of VVs but are associated with a high complication rate and recovery time. Emerging endovenous therapies, including endovenous laser therapy, radiofrequency ablation, and endovenous foam sclerotherapy, have shown similar efficacy in the treatment of VVs compared with more invasive surgical procedures, with lower complication rates and less time lost from work.

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