Comparison of unilateral vs bilateral and staged bilateral vs concurrent bilateral truncal endovenous ablation in the Vascular Quality Initiative

Craig S. Brown, Nicholas H. Osborne, Gloria Y. Kim, Danielle C. Sutzko, Thomas W. Wakefield, Andrea T. Obi, Issam Koleilat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Venous insufficiency is commonly bilateral, and patients often prefer single-episode care compared with staged procedures. Few studies have investigated clinical outcomes after unilateral vs bilateral venous ablation procedures or between staged and concurrent bilateral procedures. Here, we report data from the Vascular Quality Initiative regarding truncal venous ablation for chronic venous insufficiency. Methods: Using data from the Vascular Quality Initiative, we investigated immediate postoperative as well as long-term clinical and patient-reported outcomes of patients undergoing unilateral vs bilateral truncal endovenous ablation from 2015 to 2019. We further investigated outcomes between staged bilateral and concurrent bilateral ablations. Preprocedural and postprocedural comparisons were performed using t-test, χ2 test, or their nonparametric counterpart when appropriate. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression was performed on ordinal outcome variables. Results: A total of 5029 patients were included, of whom 3782 (75.2%) underwent unilateral procedures. Median follow-up was 227 days (interquartile range [IQR], 55-788 days). Unilateral patients were less likely to be female (67.0% vs 70.3%; P =.031) and white (86.3% vs 91.2%; P <.001) and had lower body mass index (30.3 ± 7.3 kg/m2 vs 31.8 ± 7.6 kg/m2; P <.001) compared with patients undergoing bilateral procedures. In addition, unilateral patients had fewer prior varicose vein treatments (23.0% vs 15.7%; P <.001) and had higher median preprocedural Venous Clinical Severity Score (VCSS; 8 [IQR, 6-10] vs 7 [IQR, 5.5-9]; P <.001). No difference was seen in complications (6.9% vs 8.2%; P =.292), and systemic complications were rare in both groups. No difference was seen in VCSS improvement after treatment (median, 3 [IQR, 1-6] for unilateral; median, 3 [IQR 1-5] for bilateral; P =.055). In comparing staged with concurrent bilateral procedures, there was no difference in overall complications (7.5% vs 12.2%; P =.144). Staged bilateral patients were older (56.9 ± 13.3 years vs 54.2 ± 12.9 years; P =.002), less likely to have had prior varicose vein treatment (14.3% vs 19.8%; P =.020), and more likely to be therapeutically anticoagulated (10.8% vs 6.5%; P =.028) compared with concurrent bilateral patients. Staged patients also have higher preprocedural VCSS compared with concurrent patients (median, 8 [IQR, 6-10] vs 7 [IQR, 5.5-9]; P <.001). In multivariable analysis, there was no difference in the likelihood of VCSS improvement for concurrent compared with staged procedures (odds ratio, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.40-1.24; P =.226). Conclusions: Concurrent bilateral truncal endovenous ablation can be performed safely without increased morbidity compared with staged bilateral or unilateral ablations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121.e3
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Bilateral
  • Chronic venous disease
  • Endovenous ablation
  • Unilateral
  • Varicose veins
  • Venous insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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