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J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 1998 Apr;39(2):151-62.

Saphenous vein sparing surgery: principles, techniques and results.

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Institute of General Surgery and Vascular Laboratory, University of Ferrara, Italy.



Evaluation of saphenous vein sparing surgical procedures alternative to high ligation and distal stab avulsion, in terms of effectiveness and suitability for eventual bypass surgery.


Prospective evaluation of 421 operations for primary varicose veins, 64 external valve-plasties of the sapheno-femoral junction (EV-SFJ), (42 performed using the hand sewing technique and 22 using the Veno-cuff device), mean follow-up 52 months, and 357 hemodynamic correction of varicose veins (French acronymis CHIVA), mean follow-up 49 months. Moreover, a subgroup of 27 patients was operated on using the CHIVA technique in two steps, mean follow-up 18 months.


Institute of General Surgery, University of Ferrara. Institutional practice, one-day surgery.


Patients were selected using clinical and duplex scanning evaluations, and classified according to CEAP criteria. Patients with varicose veins due to sapheno-femoral reflux with duplex scanning evidence of mobile valve leaflets underwent EV-SFJ. The other patients were operated on using the hemodynamic correction technique.


EV-SFJ restores valve function correcting vein wall dilatation by applying an external prosthesis. CHIVA consists of selected ligatures of the superficial veins that allow superficial blood aspiration in the deep veins through the perforators as well as the preservation of saphenous drainage.


The outcome was evaluated with independent clinical and ultrasonographic examinations; pre and postoperative AVP and LRR-RT measurements were assessed in 125 cases. Data from self-assessment of the functional and cosmetic result of the patients of the CHIVA group were also obtained using a scoring system. Moreover, scanning the preserved long saphenous vein the rate of long saphenous vein suitable as arterial conduit following sparing surgery was also evaluated.


Overall long saphenous vein patency registered after EV-SFJ and CHIVA was 94%. Varicose veins recurrence rate was 12% and 11%, respectively. Postoperative AVP and LRR-RT improvement was statistically significant (p<0.001).


These two alternative procedures seem to be effective in varices treatment following the proposed indications and techniques. In addition, they appear able to preserve a more significant rate of saphenous veins suitable for eventual bypass surgery than high ligation and multiple cosmetic avulsion.

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