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Read Original Story

All in vein: New varicose veins treatments work quickly

Rating

3 Star

All in vein: New varicose veins treatments work quickly

Our Review Summary

Varicose veins can range from the unsightly to the painful and disabling. In the past, the traditional treatment has been surgery to strip the veins, however newer, less invasive options are becoming more common. Advertising for a variety of laser treatments has proliferated, however not all of these are effective and consumers should be wary of exaggerated claims.

This story does a good job of describing different types of varicose veins, the treatment options available, and the different practitioners who provide the treatments.  It appropriately warns the reader about laser treatments that are ineffective. Although the story quotes multiple experts, it isn’t clear if any of them are connected financially to any of the companies developing the treatments.

The story could have been improved by describing the range of costs of treatment, important information given that insurance coverage varies. It could have more thoroughly described the evidence to support the claims and quantified the benefits of treatment. A consumer considering their options would want to know: Are there any studies available? if so, what are the long term results? How much do these procedures reduce pain? What percentage of patients feel better after each procedure? Do the benefits last a long time or only temporarily?

 

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

Although the story mentions that insurance coverage varies, the story should have provided some rough estimate of the range of costs of treatment. This is how consumers get shielded from the true cost of elective procedures.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story doesn’t quantify the benefit of treatment.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

Although the story mentions some harms of treatment, it does not indicate how often that occurs and how often the procedure itself doesn’t work.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not describe the strength of the evidence to support the claims made. A consumer considering their options would want to know: Are there any studies available? if so, what are the long term results? How much do these procedures reduce pain? What percentage of patients feel better after each procedure? Do the benefits last a long time or only temporarily?

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story does a good job of describing the difference between painful, disabling varicose veins and others that are only a cosmetic issue. Adding a little more information about how common these conditions are and the potential long term problems if they are not treated would have been useful.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story quotes multiple experts. The story should have indicated whether any of these sources are independent of the company that developed the technology under discussion.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story mentions the various options and what they are intended for. The story is also helpful to the reader in describing the various practitioners involved and warning about treatments that are ineffective.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story adequately represents the availability of the treatments for varicose veins.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story adequately describes the novelty of the treatments.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Because the story quotes multiple experts, the reader can assume the story didn’t rely on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 6 of 10 Satisfactory

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