Prospective clinical study of surgical management of varicose veins of lower limb and its complications

Nagaraj H., Ashwin K. Hebbar, Akarsh S. Rajaput, Sushil Kumar B.V.


Background: Varicose veins of the lower extremities are the most common peripheral vascular disease and their treatment is as old as mankind. This prospective clinical study of surgical management of varicose vein was conducted to study the age, sex and occupational distribution of varicose veins of lower limb. Evaluations of clinical features and surgical methods of treatments that were in practice in the management of varicose veins in terms of recurrence and symptoms improvement were also studied.

Methods: Two years prospective study was conducted in our institution from May 2007 to April 2009. During this period 62 cases of varicose veins of lower limbs were admitted to our hospital of which 50 cases were selected and were studies in detail. After thorough clinical examination and relevant investigation they are all subjected to surgical management.

Results: Out of 50 cases studied, 21 (42%) had only long saphenous vein involvement, 7 (14%) had short saphenous vein involvement and in 5 (10%) cases both short and long saphenous system were involved. In addition to long saphenous vein involvement, incompetent perforators were present in 17 (34%) cases. Among them prominent veins and pain were the main complain in 38 (78%) patients. Itching and pigmentation were present in 4 (8%) patients. Ankle edema was present in 6 (12%) patients. Pain and ulceration of lower leg were present in 2 (4%) patients. After clinical assessment appropriate surgical procedures were followed for each of patients. These cases were followed for 3 year durations. Out of 50 patients 7 (14%) patients had recurrence of varicose vein. 7 (14%) patient complained of recurrence of pain after 2 years of surgery but no appearance of varicose vein. One patient (2%) complained of persistence of pigmentation after surgery. 2 (4%) patients complained of persistence of ankle edema and there was complete healing of ulcer which was present earlier.

Conclusions: Commonest age group of varicose vein of lower limb was 20 to 40 years. Definite relationship exists between the occupation and the incidence of varicose veins. The patients were in the occupation which required standing for long time had the higher chances of varicose vein. Severity of the symptoms is not proportional to the duration of varicose veins. The involvement of long saphenous vein is more common than the short saphenous vein. Since our study shows very low percentage of recurrence and symptoms related to varicose vein the surgical line of treatment is an ideal treatment for varicose vein. For incompetent perforators, sub-fascial ligation appears to be a better method of treatment than extra fascial ligation. Because in the former all the perforators could be visualized and dealt with, while in the latter there were chances of missing one or two perforators. If cases are selected properly with good operative technique the complications are negligible.



Long saphenous vein, Stripping of varicose vein, Varicose ulcer

Full Text:



Promod Mirji, Shailesh Emmi and Chhaya Joshi. Study of clinical features and management of varicose vein. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research 2011;5(7):1416-1420.

Lateef MA. Clinical pathological study of primary varicose vein in the lower limb. British Journal of Surgery 1995; 82:855-56.

Callam MJ. Epidemiology of varicose veins. British Journal of Surgery 1994; 81:167-73.

Al-Mulhim, et al. Surgical correction of mainstem reflux in the superficial venous system. World Journal of Surgery 2003 July;27(1):793-96.

Dur AHM, Mackaay AJC. Duplex assessment of clinically diagnosed venous insufficiency. British Journal of Surgery 1992 June;79:155-61.

R. Mofidi, et al. Feasibility of day case varicose vein surgery in a district general hospital. Irish Journal of Medical Sciences 2000;169:37-9.

Cambell WB. Varicose vein, an increasing burden for the NHS. British Medical Journal 1990; 300:763-4.

Coleridge Smith et al. Cause of venous ulceration- a new hypothesis. British Journal of Surgery 1988; 296:169-71.

Baily and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery-Venous disorders 24th edition. Marc Christopher Winslet; 2005:960-62.

M. Hassan Murad, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the treatment of varicose veins. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2011 May;53:49-65S.