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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2006 Mar;31(3):325-31. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

Local anaesthetic flush reduces postoperative pain and haematoma formation after great saphenous vein stripping--a randomised controlled trial.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Mid-Western Regional and St John's Hospitals, Limerick, Ireland.



To observe the effect of local anaesthetic flush through the great saphenous vein (GSV) tunnel on postoperative pain and haematoma formation following saphenous vein stripping operations.


Prospective, double-blind, randomised, control trial.


One hundred patients were randomized to receive 20 ml of local anaesthetic (bupivacaine 0.25% + adrenaline) or saline control flush through the GSV tunnel after stripping in a double-blind study. Visual analogue pain scores were used to measure postoperative pain daily for the 1st week, then at 3 weeks and 6 weeks. Patients were examined during the 1st, 3rd and 6th week for haematoma formation.


In the control group the median postoperative pain score was 4 (range 0-7) in the immediate postoperative period compared to a median of 1 (range 0-4) in the LA group (p<0.001). The median pain score on day-4 was 4 (range 1-6) (control) vs. 1 (range 0-3) (LA group) (p<0.001, Mann-Whitney Utest) and on day-6 it was 1 (range 0-5) (control) vs. 0 (range 0-5) (LA group) (p<0.001, Mann-Whitney). Twelve patients (24%) developed a haematoma in the GSV tunnel in the control group compared to three patients (6%) in the LA group (p = 0.007).


Flushing of the GSV tunnel with bupivacaine plus adrenaline significantly reduces postoperative pain and haematoma formation in patients undergoing GSV stripping for varicose veins.

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