Correction of lower extremity deep venous incompetence by ablation of superficial venous reflux.Ann Vasc Surg. 1996 Mar; 10(2):186-9.AV
Chronic venous insufficiency which produces lipodermatosclerosis, varicosities, or ulceration, is frequently caused by superficial venous reflux and deep venous incompetence. The anatomy of venous insufficiency has been clarified with duplex ultrasound, thus allowing appropriately directed therapy. However, postoperative venous physiology in patients undergoing superficial venous ablation has been infrequently reported. This study was undertaken to document the effect of superficial venous ablation on deep venous reflux. Between April 1994 and May 1995, 45 patients were examined preoperatively with duplex ultrasound. All patients had symptomatic venous insufficiency and were found to have greater saphenous vein reflux. Clinical classification of venous insufficiency (according to the criteria of the joint councils of the vascular societies) included class I in 30 patients, class II in 12, and class III in 3. Seventeen patients (38%) had reflux in the femoral venous system in addition to superficial reflux. All patients underwent removal of the proximal greater saphenous vein in concert with multiple stab avulsions of identified varicosities. Postoperative interrogation of the venous system revealed that in 16 (94%) of 17 patients, coexistent femoral venous insufficiency completely resolved. Thus ablation of superficial venous reflux eliminated incompetence in the deep venous system in patients with combined disease. These preliminary results suggest that superficial venous incompetence may be a cause of deep venous insufficiency. Whereas alternative methods to correct deep venous insufficiency have met with limited success, it appears that saphenectomy (when combined disease is present) may be effective in correction of deep venous reflux.