[Superficial veins of the lower limbs].Ann Chir. 1997; 51(7):713-27.AC
This study, limited to the superficial veins of 123 limbs (108 normal and 15 suffering from frank varicose disease) and only vessels with a caliber of at least 2 mm, reveals a certain degree of constancy of anatomical pattern. The initial network is defined embryologically and subsequent haemodynamic phenomena model the final veins. In particular, the topography of the main perforating veins is relatively fixed. Due to their double antihypertensive valve and aspirating pump function while walking, these vessels drain into saphenous veins. They are beneficial when they return reflux into the deep vessels. Conversely, perforator incompetence contaminates the superficial network in the case of deep reflux. The perforating vessels also have a relatively fixed position in relation to other structures: the main saphenous collateral veins, their duplicated branches, their communicating veins and the main valves. This results in large junctions typically associating a saphenous valve, one or several collateral veins, one or several communicating veins, and one or several perforating veins. Typical examples are the garter junction for the long saphenous vein, and the junction of the tip of the calf for the short saphenous vein. Other haemodynamic levels are situated at various sites, particularly in the leg, reflecting the existence, in some cases, of symmetrical "mirror", medial and lateral perforating veins. Morphological analysis of 15 limbs with obvious varicose veins of the trunk of the long saphenous vein defined the routes of transmission of reflux to the leg. Finally, the authors present several technical considerations which they hope will be useful for Doppler operators and surgeons.