Kurpark Center of Dermatology,
70372 Stuttgart, Germany, Villamed, Dayclinic of Varicose Surgery,
Munich, Germany, Department of Dermatology,
Saarland University Hospital,
Radiofrequency obliteration (RFO) and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) are established techniques in varicose therapy. A novel bipolar RFO technique – Radiofrequency Induced Thermotherapy (RFITT) – was introduced in 2007. Comparative studies of RFITT and EVLT with one year follow-up are missing.
Objective: Comparison of RFITT with EVLT concentrating on occlusion, side-effects, and patients’ satisfaction in a prospective non-randomized study.
133 patients with incompetent GSV or SSV were treated by RFITT (n=66) or EVLT (n=67). Follow-up at days 1, 7, and months 3, 12 included duplex, digital photoplethysmography (DPPG), assessment of VCSS and patients’ satisfaction.
Both groups were balanced concerning clinical parameters. Occlusion rates were in trend in favour of EVLT (96.9%)
vs RFITT (88.9%), p=0.093, at 12 months follow-up. Functional outcome by DPPG (refilling time: 30.8
vs 31.9 sec.), and side-effects were comparable apart from pain in the first postoperative week, which was more frequent in the EVLT group (0
vs 16.4%, p=0.001). Change in VCSS from baseline was advantageous for EVLT (89.9%
vs 79.3%, p=0.005). Major complications did not occur. Both techniques provided excellent satisfaction results.
Conclusion: After one year RFITT is similarly as effective and safe as EVLT treatment of varicose insufficiency, but needs improvement in treatment parameters.