About the CHIVA vein surgery method
The CHIVA method originated in France at a time when the considerable side effects of conventional vein stripping were apparent, but vascular surgeons had not yet developed gentle alternatives, such as the modern radiofrequency therapy.
The CHIVA method is based on the idea that the truncal vein should be maintained, but should be freed of its ill influxing vessels. This can only be performed surgically, with a multitude of - frequently large - incisions over the influxing vessels. Consequently, this vein surgery is quite costly and often leaves the patient with considerable scars.
In addition to this, since the diseased truncal vein remains active, the CHIVA process tends to be associated quite regularly with the renewed appearance of varicose veins ("relapses"): more than 70% of patients who have undergone surgery must be operated on at least once more within just 5 years of their initial varicose vein surgery. Further scientific knowledge on the CHIVA method is almost completely lacking in the world literature, so that the procedure, as expressed scientifically, must be considered badly documented.
For these reasons, we no longer practice the CHIVA method of vein surgery in our institute today (a procedure which we previously performed as a specialised institution), but are instead dependent on scientifically well-documented, modern, gentle, "minimally invasive" processes, like the radiofrequency catheter method.
Hereby, a fine catheter is introduced through a puncture spot in the diseased truncal vein - without any scarring - and the internal surface is occluded with precision accuracy through a targeted temperature elevation at the tip of the catheter.
In contrast to the CHIVA process and conventional vein stripping, which result in scarring, thick medical compression stockings do not have to be worn here for 6 - 12 weeks either; instead, they must only be worn for three days and, as a rule, patients are fit for work again on the day after their vein surgery.
This process has been examined very precisely in independent scientific studies (in contrast to the CHIVA method and stripping) and has been documented so well in its efficacy that, under the "guidelines" of the German Society for Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie) to which we surgeons are bound, it has received the highest award of "Evidence level A". The conventional stripping vein surgery procedure, although dating back to 1907, has essentially been documented more poorly scientifically, and has, in contrast, only been awarded "Evidence level B", while the CHIVA method, as a newcomer method, has not been mentioned at all.
Each year at our institute, numerous patients who had previously been treated elsewhere using the CHIVA method of vein surgery undergo follow-up surgical procedures which, under current viewpoints, are considered to be modern, gentle and minimally-invasive.