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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,877
Online ISSN 1827-1626
Gianni BELCARO 1, Mark DUGALL 1, Marcello CORSI 1, Giovanni B. AGUS 2, Edmondo IPPOLITO 2, 3
1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Irvine3 Circulation/Vascular Labs, PAP/PEA Project, Chieti-Pescara, Italy; 2 University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3 Fondazione Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, Milan, Italy
BACKGROUND: This registry study evaluated low-cost outpatient surgery (mini-S) for venous insufficiency as an alternative to stripping.
METHODS: This 20-year follow-up is focused on the recurrence of varices and on the long-term efficacy of the mini-S (group 1) in comparison with controls (2, stripping), sclerotherapy (3) or a combination of mini-S+sclerotherapy (4). Costs were compared.
RESULTS: At 20-years of follow-up, considering recurrence/development of new varicose veins, 24.05% of the limbs treated with mini-S developed new varices in comparison with 64.4% in group 2, 24.1% in group 3 and 15.4% in group 4 (P<0.05). New surgical procedures were needed in 18.9% of mini-S patients vs. 58.5% in group 2, 21.9% in group 3 and 19.7% in group 4 (P<0.05 between group 2 and the other groups). Sclerotherapy (in the years following the initial treatment) was used in 37.9% of mini-S patients in comparison with 67.7% of subjects in group 2 patients, 33.1% in group 3 and 22.8% in group 4 (P<0.05 between outpatient treatment and group 2). The superficial venous system was incompetent in 21% of mini-S patients in comparison with 38.8% in group 2 (P<0.05), 20.7% in group 3 and 17.9% of group 4. At 20 years edema was present in 10.5% of limbs in group 2 in comparison with a <3% (range 2.2-2.1%) in the other groups. Edema was more significant after stripping. Ambulatory venous pressure measurements in subgroups was lower in groups 1, 3 and 4 with a lower refilling time (P<0.05). The cost of in-hospital, daily surgical treatments were €1978 (covered by the heathcare provider). The cost of mini-S was on average €488 per limb (covered by patients).
CONCLUSIONS: Outpatients procedures, in particular the mini-S management plan, were cheaper than stripping and more effective at 20-years follow-up. They could be a model for emerging contries with restricted budgets for vein surgery. Also being cheaper more people may have benefits from treatment when/where hospital procedures are not covered by an healthcare provider.