Exciting New Information About Varicose Vein Treatments

Exciting New Information About Varicose Vein Treatments

The Journal of Vascular Surgery in May 2011 published a consensus article providing conclusive proof that if a person is a candidate for a venous ablation procedure (laser or radiofrequency) and has symptomatic varicose veins then compression support stockings should not be the first line of treatment. Many of us already understand this intuitively. Unfortunately, almost all health insurance without exception require that a trial of support stockings be tried before venous procedures are considered to fix your varicose veins.

The Consensus panel consisted of the most preeminent vein doctors and surgeons in the world including Drs. Gloviczki, Camerota, Dalsing, Eklof, Meissner, Pappas, and Wakefield as well as other giants in the field. Their recommendations were based on the Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. To explain the GRADING system, If suggestions are classified as weak (Grade 2) then benefits would be outweighed by the risks cost and burdens. The level of evidence of all available studies to support the evaluation or treatment can be then be further classified as High (A), Medium (B) or Low or Very Low (C).

The final word is that Compression Stockings as the first line of treatment of symptomatic varicose veins is Grade 1B.

Ablation (laser or radiofrequency) as the first line of treatment of symptomatic varicose veins is Grade 1A.

In conclusion, the foremost vein experts in the world on the basis of all available scientific evidence have concluded that compression support stockings should not be used as the primary treatment for varicose veins. Let’s hope that this expert vein consensus panel and their findings become known by your insurance company when policy is reviewed to help enable your physician to do the right thing and fix your veins when it is medically indicated without having to first try uncomfortable compression support stockings for months.  For more information, call us at 724-969-0600 so that we can discuss a plan to treat your varicose veins.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.