Background: This trial compared outcomes after foam sclerotherapy in patients wearing compression bandaging for 24 h or 5 days after treatment. Methods: Consecutive patients with primary uncomplicated varicose veins were randomized after foam sclerotherapy treatment. The primary endpoint was 6-week Aberdeen Varicose Vein Severity Score (AVVSS) and Burford pain score. Results: Some 124 legs were randomized, 61 to 24 h and 63 to 5 days of bandaging. Target vein occlusion rates at 6-week duplex imaging were 90 and 89 per cent respectively (P = 0-842). There was no significant difference in phlebitis after 2 weeks (P = 0-445) or skin discoloration after 6 weeks (46 verms 40 per cent; P = 0-546). There was no significant difference in the change in AVVSS from baseline to 2 weeks (-0-29 versus - 0-80; P = 0-717) or to 6 weeks (-5-89 versus - 5-14; 95 percent confidence interval (c.i.) for the difference - 3-29 to 1-80; P = 0-563), or in change in Burford pain score from baseline to 2 weeks (-9-04 venrus -2-80; P = 0-248) or to 6 weeks (-17-32 versus -8-46; 95 per cent c.i. for the difference - 19-06 to 1-33; P = 0-088), or in change in Short Form 36 score from baseline to 6 weeks (2-02 versus 1-74; P = 0-903). Conclusion: There was no advantage to compression bandaging for more than 24 h when thromboembolus deterrent stockings were worn for the remainder of 14 days. Registration number: NCT00991497 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).