JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Changes in health-related quality of life after ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy for great and small saphenous varicose veins.

BACKGROUND: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) improves after superficial venous surgery for varicose veins, but the effect of ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy on HRQOL is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine changes in HRQOL after ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy for varicose veins.

METHODS: Consecutive patients undergoing ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy for varicose veins were sent the Short Form 12 (SF-12) questionnaire, a generic measure of HRQOL, and the Aberdeen Varicose Vein Symptom Score (AVSS) questionnaire, a disease-specific measure of HRQOL, 1 week before treatment and 1, 6, and 12 months after treatment.

RESULTS: The study enrolled 296 patients (34% male; 395 treated legs) with a median age of 57 years (range, 22-89 years). Of these, 24% had had previous superficial venous surgery, and 66% were CEAP C(2-3) (uncomplicated varicose veins). Questionnaire completion rates were 82%, 73%, and 69% at 1, 6, and 12 months after treatment. The median Physical Component Summary score of the SF-12 (higher score indicates better HRQOL) improved from 47.6 pretreatment to 49.4 at 1 month (P < .008, Wilcoxon signed rank test), to 51.9 at 6 months (P < .0005), and to 52.9 at 12 months (P < .0005). The median AVSS (lower score indicates better HRQOL) improved from 19.0 pretreatment to 16.5 at 1 month (P < .0005), to 8.7 at 6 months (P < .0005), and to 8.6 at 12 months (P < .0005).

CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy for great and small saphenous varicose veins leads to significant improvements in generic and disease-specific HRQOL for at least 12 months after treatment.

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