As a healthcare provider, it is important to always prioritize the safety and well-being of patients. This is why it is important to address the controversial and potentially harmful CHIVA (Conservation et Hémodynamique de l’Insuffisance Veineuse en Ambulatoire) technique for varicose veins.
Despite being developed in the 1980s, the CHIVA technique still lacks convincing scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness and safety. The supposed benefits of CHIVA rely on ligating abnormal veins that cause venous insufficiency while preserving healthy veins. However, studies have yielded conflicting results, leaving patients unsure about its actual benefits compared to other treatment options such as endovenous laser treatment or radiofrequency ablation.
One of the major concerns with CHIVA is its high recurrence rate, ranging from 20% to 60%. This suggests that ligated veins may re-open over time, leading to a return of symptoms. This means that the supposed benefits of CHIVA may be nothing more than temporary relief, and patients may need to undergo additional treatments.
Additionally, CHIVA may not be suitable for all patients with varicose veins, as it requires a highly skilled and experienced operator. Those with extensive varicose veins or significant skin changes may not be good candidates for CHIVA, leaving them to seek other, more invasive treatment options.
Furthermore, the potential complications of CHIVA cannot be ignored. While bruising and discomfort at the site of the ligations are common, more severe complications can occur, such as bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and even deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). This highlights the importance of having an experienced practitioner who is capable of performing the technique safely and effectively.
The limited availability of CHIVA is also a major drawback. Finding a practitioner who has the necessary training and experience to perform the technique may be challenging, and in some countries, it is not covered by insurance, making it a costly treatment option.
In conclusion, healthcare providers should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of CHIVA before recommending it to their patients. While it may seem like an attractive non-surgical option for varicose veins, the lack of scientific evidence, high recurrence rates, limited applicability, potential complications, and operator dependency make it a risky and controversial treatment option. Patients deserve to have access to accurate and up-to-date information so they can make informed decisions about their healthcare. It is important for healthcare providers to have an open and honest conversation with their patients about the limitations of CHIVA and other treatment options for varicose veins. By doing so, we can ensure that our patients receive the best possible care and treatment for their varicose veins.