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Br J Surg. 1999 Jun;86(6):755-9.

Role of superficial venous surgery in the treatment of venous ulceration.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Leicester University, UK.



The aim of this study was to determine the ability of superficial venous surgery to heal venous ulcers in lower legs with isolated superficial venous incompetence.


This was a prospective study of patients recruited from a venous ulcer assessment clinic. Ulcers were considered venous if the ankle : brachial pressure index was greater than 0.8 and duplex imaging showed venous reflux. Patients with isolated superficial venous incompetence were offered saphenofemoral and/or saphenopopliteal surgery. Neither perforator surgery, skin grafting nor postoperative compression hosiery or bandaging was used.


A total of 122 legs with normal deep veins underwent superficial venous surgery. Ninety procedures (74 per cent) were done under local and 32 (26 per cent) under general anaesthesia. Sixty operations (49 per cent) were done as a day case. The median time to healing was 18 (95 per cent confidence interval 14-21) weeks and the cumulative 6-, 12- and 18-month healing rates were 57, 74 and 82 per cent respectively.


In patients with venous ulceration and isolated superficial venous incompetence, superficial venous surgery can produce ulcer healing in the majority of patients without the need for perforator surgery, postoperative compression bandaging or skin grafting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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