Background: Venous leg ulcers affect 1-3% of adults with a significant economic impact, utilizing 1% of annual healthcare budgets in some western European countries.Objectives: To determine the effects of intervention for incompetent superficial veins on ulcer healing and recurrence in patients with active or healed venous ulcers.Search methods: In October 2014, we searched Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE, Scopus, the Cochrane library and Web of Science without date or language restriction for relevant randomized or observational studies. Bibliographies of included studies were also searched for additional studies.Selection criteria: Observational studies or randomized controlled trials comparing intervention for varicose veins with compression therapy alone for venous leg ulcers were eligible. In addition, studies compared open to endovenous therapy for varicose veins in patients with leg ulcers and those compared treating saphenous and perforating veins to treating saphenous veins only were also included. Studies had to report at least one ulcer related outcome (healing rate, recurrence or time to healing).Data collection and analysis: Details of potentially eligible studies were extracted and summarized using a data extraction table. Data extraction and quality assessment were performed independently by two review authors, and any disagreements resolved by consensus or by arbitration of a third author.Results: Intervention for superficial venous reflux improved ulcer healing (risk ratio = 1.11 [1.00, 1.22], 95% CI, p = 0.04) and reduced recurrence (risk ratio = 0.48 [0.32, 0.67], 95% CI, p < 0.0001) compared to compression alone, with low level of evidence.Conclusion: This review confirmed that the evidence for a beneficial effect of endovenous and open surgery for varicose vein in venous leg ulcer is at beast weak. A well-structured RCT is required to investigate the role of endovenous ablation of incompetent superficial veins in improving venous leg ulcer outcomes. (C) 2016 Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Scottish charity number SC005317) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.