OBJECTIVE: Incompetent perforator veins (IPVs) contribute to venous pathology and are surgically treated based on hemodynamic measurement, size, and Clinical, Etiological, Anatomical, and Pathophysiological (CEAP) classification. The objective of this study was to systematically review and synthesize current literature regarding surgical management of IPVs, including open ligation, subfascial endoscopic perforator surgery (SEPS), endovascular laser ablation (EVLA), ultrasound guided sclerotherapy (USGS), and radiofrequency ablation (RFA).METHODS: English-language literature published prior to November 2021 was reviewed from the PubMed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE databases for primary literature reporting safety and efficacy outcomes in the surgical treatment of incompetent perforating veins. Study quality and risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for comparative studies and a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for non-comparative studies. A random effects model was used to pool effect sizes for efficacy outcomes of wound healing and freedom from wound recurrence.RESULTS: A total of 81 studies were included for qualitative synthesis representing 7010 patients with a mean age of 54.7 years. Overall evidence quality was low to intermediate, with moderate to high risk of bias in comparative studies. There was an 11.3% complication rate across interventions, with no reported incidences of stroke or air embolism. With regards to efficacy, pooled estimates for short-term (up to 1-year) wound healing were 99.9% for USGS (95% CI 0.81 - 1), 72.2% for ligation (95% CI 0.04, 0.94) and 96.0% for SEPS (95% CI 0.79 -0.99). For short-term freedom from wound recurrence, the pooled estimate for SEPS is 91.0% (95% CI 0.3 - 0.99).CONCLUSION: Current evidence regarding treatment of incompetent perforator veins is limited due to low adherence to reporting standards in observational studies and lack of randomization, blinding, and allocation concealment in comparative studies. Additional comparative studies are needed to guide clinical decision-making regarding invasive treatment options for incompetent perforator veins.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jvsv.2021.12.088
View details for PubMedID 35217217