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There is a dearth of published data on quality of life assessments in patients with varicose veins despite the large number of operations performed each year. There are also a plethora of techniques now available for the treatment of varicose veins, yet no assessment with either generic or disease-specific tools.

The possible reasons for the paucity of publications may be that this research modality is time consuming and the response rate from the subjects is often poor. Pressure from a patient-centered National Health Service and National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) will change this. In two recent large multicenter national trials, the United Kingdom small aneurysm trial (UKSAT) and endovascular aneurysm repair trial (EVAR 1) both used quality of life tools in their assessment along with the more familiar morbidity and mortality data.22,23

In the forum of innovative therapies for varicose veins, new techniques will have to undergo rigorous testing and will have to demonstrate that they are of benefit before funding is approved; quality of life tools will be paramount in this.

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