Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Foam injections for varicose veins better for patients and cheaper, study finds

Date:
September 28, 2011
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Foam injections to treat varicose veins cause less pain for patients and could save money compared with a popular alternative treatment, according to researchers.

Foam injections to treat varicose veins cause less pain for patients and could save NHS money compared with a popular alternative treatment, according to researchers at Imperial College London. The study found that foam therapy was over four times more cost-effective than laser treatment and allowed patients to resume normal activity sooner.

The findings were presented September 25 at the annual meeting of the European Vascular Society in Athens.

Varicose veins develop when the valves in veins stop working properly, causing the veins to swell. About one in three people have varicose veins when they reach retiring age, with women affected more than men. In most people, they do not present a serious health problem, but in severe cases they can cause aching, itching, swelling or leg ulcers.

Patients requiring treatment often undergo surgery to strip out the affected vein. Under general anaesthetic, the vein is tied off through a cut in the groin and pulled out by a wire passed through a cut lower in the leg. 36,209 varicose vein procedures are carried out in the NHS each year.

In the last decade, new non-surgical treatments have been introduced that cause less scarring and do not require general anaesthetic. Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) involves a laser wire, inserted into the vein through a catheter, which delivers short bursts of energy that seal the vein closed. It is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. Foam sclerotherapy involves injecting foam into the vein that inflames the lining of the wall and seals the vessel.

The new study compared these two treatments in terms of benefit to the patient and cost. One hundred patients were randomly assigned to laser or foam treatment. The two treatments were found to be equally successful at closing off varicose veins. However, foam therapy procedures were more than twice as quick and cost over four times less than laser treatment on average. Patients who had foam therapy experienced less pain in the week following treatment and could return to normal activity in three days, compared with eight days for patients who had laser therapy.

Mr Christopher Lattimer, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, said: "This is the first time that anyone in the NHS has compared foam and laser treatments to see which is better value for money. We found that foam was 4.2 times cheaper, taking into account their effectiveness. Foam treatment was also quicker, less painful, and had people back to normal activity in a shorter time."

Mr George Geroulakos, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, said: "Because varicose veins are so common, the NHS has to spend a lot of money on treatments each year. If more people are treated with foam injections instead of surgery or laser treatment, the potential savings could be enormous. This sort of research is hugely important at a time when budgets are under such strain."

The number of patients receiving these treatments is increasing each year, with the NHS performing 6,327 foam procedures and 6,005 EVLA procedures in England in 2009-10.

Closing the veins that run near the skin does not impair circulation as blood can still return to the heart through the larger veins inside the leg.

The research was funded by Ealing Hospital NHS Trust and STD Pharmaceuticals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Foam injections for varicose veins better for patients and cheaper, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925125140.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2011, September 28). Foam injections for varicose veins better for patients and cheaper, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925125140.htm
Imperial College London. "Foam injections for varicose veins better for patients and cheaper, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925125140.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins