To evaluate the efficacy and haemodynamic effects of great saphenous vein (GSV) sparing surgery--valvuloplasty combined with axial transposition of a competent tributary vein (A-VACT).
Eighty-five limbs in 74 patients with isolated GSV incompetence were selected for GSV sparing surgery. After angiographic valvuloplasty, the competent tributary vein was exposed and cut 1.5 cm distal to its insertion point on the GSV. The transected vein was anastomosed end-to-side to the GSV, which was ligated between the tributary insertion site and the anastomosis. Venous valve competence were screened by serial postoperative duplex examination, and venous haemodynamic changes were analyzed using venous filling index (VFI) measured by air plethysmograph pre- and postoperatively. The follow-up period was 5-years.
Sixty-seven patients were included in whom 76 limbs were treated. There was a statistically significant reduction in the vein diameter at the SFJ after 5-years (0.83 S.D. 0.29 cm to 0.46 S.D. 0.12 cm, p=0.0002, Wilcoxon). Similarly, significant reduction was found in the GSV at the 5-year follow-up point (0.63 S.D. 0.19 cm to 0.39 S.D. 0.11 cm, p<0.0001, Wilcoxon). On the other hand, there was significant increase in the diameter of the competent tributary vein postoperatively (0.22 S.D. 0.13 cm to 0.31 S.D. 0.12 cm, p<0.0001, Wilcoxon). Duplex scanning demonstrated reflux at the SFJ in 12 limbs (16%). Similarly, in the GSV, venous reflux was found in 13 limbs (17%). Reflux in the transposed tributary vein was found in 20 limbs (26%). But only 7 limbs (9%) had minor varicose veins' recurrence. VFI remained normal during the follow-up examination. The preoperative VFI confirmed the presence of venous reflux, but there were significant improvement in the VFI values at all postoperative examinations.
A-VACT procedure improves venous function, resolves varicose veins at 5-years follow-up as well as preserving the GSV for future grafting.