Published Date: February 15, 2018

Full Text Article

A national survey on management of varicose veins in China

Authors: Mingyi Zhang, Tao Qiu, Xiaoqing Bu, Xiangtao Li, Gangzhu Liang, Huan Zhang, Luyuan Niu, Hui Zhao, Fuxian Zhang

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2018 May;6(3):338-346.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2017.10.018. Epub 2018 Feb 10.


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the current clinical practice and management strategies for varicose veins among Chinese physicians in general and in specific case vignettes.

METHODS: A questionnaire survey was conducted among 726 Chinese physicians who were attending the vascular surgery academic conferences during August 2016 to May 2017 in China. Physicians were eligible if they were familiar with several currently used treatment techniques for varicose veins.

RESULTS: A total of 681 physicians from 527 hospitals in 29 provinces across China completed the questionnaire. Of them, 80.0% were vascular surgeons, 13.1% were general surgeons, and 6.9% were interventional radiologists. More than half (67.0%) of them had >5 years of experience in management of varicose veins. A third of the participants performed routine venography for patients with suspected varicose veins. Moreover, 87.5% believed that the patient's medical insurance would influence their choice of treatment modalities. Only 38.5% of the participants' departments could perform day surgery for varicose veins. The most common average hospitalization time was 4 to 7 days, with an average cost of 4000 to 8000 yuan per leg. In the basic case (Clinical, Etiology, Anatomy, and Pathophysiology classification C2,SEpAsPr2,3), 63.8% preferred traditional surgery for great saphenous vein reflux, followed by endovenous laser ablation (24.3%), radiofrequency ablation (5.6%), and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (3.1%). Physicians in coastal China were more likely to choose endovenous thermal ablation than those from western China (P < .05). In modified case vignettes complicated with hyperpigmentation and lipodermatosclerosis or ulceration, more participants chose traditional surgery for great saphenous vein (73.2% vs 63.8% [P < .001]; 75.9% vs 63.8% [P < .001]) compared with the basic case. Moreover, 31.9% preferred continuation of compression therapy for patients with varicose veins and deep venous reflux, and 65.4% preferred correction of iliac vein compression before treatment of varicose veins. Distributions of management strategies were significantly different between the basic and modified case vignettes (all P < .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Both traditional surgery and minimally invasive techniques are used for patients with varicose veins in China, but traditional surgery is the mainstay of treatment for varying degrees of varicose veins. Related clinical factors, duplex ultrasound scan findings, medical insurance, and economy may have influenced the physicians' choice of treatment modality for varicose veins.

PMID: 29439933DOI: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2017.10.018