Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

A New Method of Surgically Treating Varicose Veins and Venous Ulcers - a Study to Assess Clinical and Economic Value

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified December 2014 by Daniel Carradice, University of Hull.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Daniel Carradice, University of Hull Identifier:
First received: September 23, 2008
Last updated: December 2, 2014
Last verified: December 2014

Varicose veins are a common problem, affecting up to a third of the western adult population. Most suffer with aching, discomfort, pruritis, and muscle cramps, whilst complications include oedema, eczema, lipodermatosclerosis, ulceration, phlebitis, and bleeding. This is known to have a significant negative effect on patient's quality of life (QoL).

Surgery has been used for many years, but it is known that there is a temporary decline in QoL post-op. This was demonstrated in our pilot study. Surgery leads to painful and prolonged recovery in some patients and has the risks of infection, haematoma and nerve injury.

Recurrence rates are known to be significant. Duplex of veins post surgery has demonstrated persistent reflux in 9-29% of cases at 1 year, 13-40% at 2 years, 40% at 5 years and 60% at 34 years.

26% of NHS patients were 'very dissatisfied' with their varicose vein surgery.

Newer, less invasive treatments are being developed. It would be advantageous to find a treatment that avoided the morbidity of surgery, one that could be performed as a day-case procedure under a local anaesthetic, a treatment that could offer lower recurrence rates and allow an early return to work. These should be the aims of any new treatment for varicose veins.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is performed under a local anaesthetic and uses laser energy delivered into the vein to obliterate it. The vein therefore need not be tied off surgically and stripped out.

The aim of this study is to compare the clinical, cost effectiveness and safety of Surgery and EVLT.

Condition Intervention
Varicose Veins
Venous Insufficiency
Venous Ulceration
Procedure: Surgery - Saphenofemoral ligation, saphenous strip and avulsions
Procedure: EVLT

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Dual Centre, Randomised Controlled Trial of the Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) in the Treatment of Varicose Veins and Venous Ulcers

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Daniel Carradice, University of Hull:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Generic Quality of life - Short Form-36 [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Disease Specific quality of life - Aberdeen Varicose Vein Questionnaire [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ]
  • Generic quality of life - EuroQol [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ]
  • Venous Clinical Severity Score [ Time Frame: 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ]
  • Visual analogue pain scores [ Time Frame: 1 week ]
  • Return to work and normal functioning [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks ]
  • Would undergo EVLT again if necessary [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ]
  • Complication rates [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ]
  • Duplex and clinical assessment [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ]

    A detailed clinical and duplex ultrasound assessment was undertaken to identify:

    The presence of residual or recurrent varicose veins (defined as clinically evident varicose veins of greater than 3mm in diameter present at 1 and 6 weeks (residual) or becoming evident only after 6 weeks (recurrent). This was irrespective of the presence or absence of symptoms.

    The pattern of underlying insufficiency on duplex giving rise to any clinically evident varicose veins or skin changes.

  • Cost Effectiveness [ Time Frame: 2 years ]

Estimated Enrollment: 260
Study Start Date: March 2004
Primary Completion Date: August 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Surgery Procedure: Surgery - Saphenofemoral ligation, saphenous strip and avulsions
Patients undergo Saphenofemoral ligation, inversion stripping of the Long Saphenous Vein and avulsion of varicosities if necessary under a general anaesthetic.
Experimental: EVLT Procedure: EVLT
Patients undergo endovenous laser treatment, using a 810nm laser aiming to occlude the incompetent long saphenous vein from the saphenofemoral junction to the knee. This may then be followed by ambulatory phlebectomy as appropriate. All procedures are to be performed under a local anaesthetic.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Primary, symptomatic, varicose veins.
  • Isolated Saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) incompetence leading to long saphenous (LSV) reflux on duplex ultrasound.
  • LSV of 4mm diameter at the knee.
  • Ability to give informed written consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to give informed written consent.
  • Symptomatic or complicated varicose veins not attributable to SFJ/LSV reflux.
  • Evidence of deep venous reflux on duplex scan.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00759434

United Kingdom
Hull Royal Infirmary
Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, HU3 2JZ
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Hull
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Principal Investigator: Ian C Chetter, MBChB University of Hull
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Daniel Carradice, Clinical Lecturer, University of Hull Identifier: NCT00759434     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HELP1
Study First Received: September 23, 2008
Last Updated: December 2, 2014

Keywords provided by Daniel Carradice, University of Hull:
Varicose veins
Chronic venous insufficiency
Venous ulceration
Endovenous Laser

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Venous Insufficiency
Varicose Ulcer
Varicose Veins
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Leg Ulcer
Skin Ulcer
Skin Diseases
Pathologic Processes processed this record on May 25, 2017