Objective and design: in 1978 Sheppard described using a flap of pectineus fascia in an attempt to reduce the further development of neovascularised veins at the saphenofemoral junction. The perceived benefits of this manoeuvre have not been tested by a prospective randomised trial.
Materials and methods: consecutive patients with symptomatic recurrent varicose veins referred to a single consultant were examined for evidence of further reflux from the saphenofemoral junction. This was subsequently confirmed in forty limbs (thirty-seven patients) by descending venography. All had features of a neovascularised segment. These patients were treated by complete exposure and ligation of the recurrences arising from the common femoral vein, with or without the placement of a flap of pectineus fascia (prospectively randomised). The patients were assessed a minimum of eighteen months later by both clinical examination and duplex ultrasound scanning.
Results: six patients were lost to follow-up. This left seventeen limbs remaining in each half of the study. The characteristics in each group were broadly matched.
Conclusions: this study failed to demonstrate any apparent benefit from the application of a flap of pectineus fascia. Most patients showed evidence of re-recurrence arising from the common femoral vein.
Copyright 1999 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.