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Br J Surg. 1998 Jun;85(6):781-4.

Role of saphenous vein surgery in the treatment of venous ulceration.

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1
Department of Surgery, University of Leicester, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This paper describes local anaesthetic saphenous disconnection in elderly patients for the treatment of venous ulceration in legs with either saphenous venous reflux alone or in combination with deep venous reflux.

METHODS:

Ambulatory venous pressure was measured in 16 legs with saphenous vein reflux alone and in nine legs with combined deep and saphenous venous reflux before, immediately after and 3 months after saphenofemoral or popliteal disconnection. Ulcer area was measured by computerized planimetry before surgery and at 1 and 3 months after operation. No compression bandages or hose were applied after surgery unless the ulcers had not begun to heal after 1 month.

RESULTS:

In legs with saphenous reflux alone all ulcers healed without compression bandages at a median of 81 (range 14-253) days and the pressure relief index (PRI) improved significantly both after surgery and at follow-up. None of the ulcers in the nine limbs with saphenous and deep venous reflux healed without compression bandaging and the PRI was unchanged immediately following surgery and at follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

Saphenous vein disconnection improves venous function and heals venous ulcers without compression bandaging if the deep veins are normal. This procedure under local anaesthetic may be particularly suitable for elderly patients, but long saphenous vein stripping should be added in young patients.

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