A consecutive series of 82 patients (98 legs) suffering from recurrent varicose veins underwent surgical treatment. In all patients clinical and hand-held US Doppler preoperative examinations were performed, but a phlebography was necessary in 33 legs to certainly visualize the anatomy of venous system and the potential sites of recurrent deep to superficial reflux. The causes of recurrence were: incompetent saphenofemoral junction in 59 legs, saphenopopliteal reflux in 6 legs, incompetence of perforator veins in 18 legs, both insufficiencies of great saphena and perforators in 15 legs. Seventy-four legs with saphenofemoral reflux underwent groin redissections through transversal (44 legs) or vertical (30 legs) incisions; the approach to the saphenopopliteal junction was vertical in two legs and transversal in four legs; the interruption of incompetent perforator veins was performed through incisions in 29 legs and according to Linton's technique in 4 legs. Clinical and US Doppler follow-up was performed every 6 months and no recurrent reflux was demonstrated; seven patients were affected from new small varices that were treated by injection sclerotherapy. This study indicates that more than 1/3 of recurrent varices need phlebography to be clearly studied: only diagnostic accuracy may assure a correct surgical approach, but the strategy of treatment must be adapted to the single patient.
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