We are often asked the question, how safe is EndoVenous Laser Treatment for varicose veins in elderly patients? An international study by veindoctors has shown the treatment is feasible, safe, and well-tolerated by elderly patients.

Background

Varicose veins are a common vascular disease in elderly patients. Both endovascular laser ablation (EVLA) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) are reported to have good technical, clinical, and patient-reported outcomes for the treatment of varicose veins. We did not find any reports on treating elderly patients with endovascular ablation procedures in the literature. The aim of this study was to determine whether endovenous thermal ablation techniques are safe and effective in treating elderly patients with varicose veins.

Method

A retrospective analysis of 57 EVLA cases and 46 RFA cases was conducted at a single center. Patients in the 65–88-year age group were assessed for postoperative pain, hematoma, thrombophlebitis, hyperpigmentation, wound infection, and skin burn.

Results

Minor complications identified in the studied patients were hematoma (2.9%), thrombophlebitis (5.8%), hyperpigmentation (8.7%), wound infection (4.9%), and skin burn (1%). In the RFA group, 38 patients (83%) had no need for oral analgesic tablets on postoperative Day 3. In the EVLA group, 25 patients (44%) had no need for oral analgesic tablets on postoperative Day 3. Two patients in the EVLA group needed a secondary intervention due to recurrent vein issues. There were no major complications in either group.

Conclusion

The outcomes for our older patients who underwent endovascular ablation therapy were comparable to other studies performed with the general population. Our results show that both EVLA and RFA are feasible, safe, and well-tolerated by elderly patients.

Lam P, Chao L. Endovascular Ablation Therapies for Varicose Veins in Elderly Patients. International Journal of Gerontology, 2014 ; 8 (4) 219–222.

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AuthorNicholas Kemp