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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2010 Jul;40(1):122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2010.03.031.

The effect of isolated phlebectomy on reflux and diameter of the great saphenous vein: a prospective study.

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Riviera Veine Institut, 6, rue Gounod, 06000 Nice, France.



To evaluate the effect of phlebectomy on venous reflux and diameter of the great saphenous vein (GSV).


Prospective cohort study.


Patients presenting with reflux in the GSV resulting in varicose veins were included in this series. Patients were treated by phlebectomy for dilated and incompetent tributaries of the GSV with conservation of the incompetent GSV. We measured reflux duration (RD), peak reflux velocity (PRV) and the diameter of the GSV using duplex ultrasound imaging at inclusion and 1 month after surgery.


We included 55 limbs in 54 patients (30 women and 24 men) aged from 37 to 83 (mean age 63) years.


Following treatment we observed a significant reduction of the mean RD (0.81 s vs. 1.5 s p < 0.01, t-test), mean PRV (120 mm s(-1) vs. 249 mm s(-1)p < 0.01, t-test) and mean diameter of the GSV (SFJ = 5.6 mm vs. 6.7 mm, p < 0.01, sub-terminal valve 4.8 mm vs. 4.4 mm p < 0.05, mid-thigh 5.0 mm vs. 4.2 mm, p < 0.01, knee 4.0 mm vs. 5.3 mm p < 0.01, mid-calf 2.7 mm vs. 4.0 mm, p < 0.01, t-test).


We noted reduced reflux in the GSV after phlebectomy with a significant reduction in RD and PRV. Phlebectomy also led to a significant reduction in GSV diameter. These data suggest that the haemodynamics and the diameter of the SV can be improved by using a treatment focussing on the saphenous tributaries.

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