Aim: To identify in patients with recurrent varices after surgery (REVAS) the clinical, etiologic, anatomic, and pathophysiologic patterns according to the CEAP classification, as well as the site, source, causes of recurrence, and contributory factors by using the REVAS classification.
Methods: Centers from eight countries enrolled patients with superficial vein reflux that had had a previous operation. A physical examination and a duplex ultrasound scan were performed at the first visit. This was repeated between 2 to 8 weeks after by the same physician and by another physician within the same time frame. The perforator, deep, and superficial veins systems as well as their accessories and tributaries were examined. A form based on the CEAP and the REVAS classification was used and the data were entered in a customized database.
Results: Fourteen institutions enrolled 170 patients (199 lower limbs) in 1 year. Their mean age was 56 years, and 69% were women. Most of them had undergone one surgical procedure before enrollment (76.6%). Most had varicose veins and swelling (70.9%), and the rest had skin damage (29.1%). More than 90% had primary etiology. The saphenofemoral junction (47.2%) and leg perforators (54.7%) were the areas most often involved by recurrent reflux. Reflux in deep veins was detected in 27.4%. Class 2 (varicose veins) alone was present in 24.6% of limbs, two classes were present in 43%, and three in 24%. Neovascularization was as frequent as technical failure (20% vs 19%); both were seen in 17%. In 35%, the cause was uncertain or unknown. When recurrence occurred at a different site, development of reflux in new sites was found in 32% of limbs. Of the contributing factors, family history and lifestyle had the highest prevalence. Women had significantly more procedures than men, despite a clear trend toward more severe disease in the latter.
Conclusions: Most patients were symptomatic with several clinical forms of presentation. The REVAS classification, together with CEAP, gives significant and more appropriate information for evaluating and following-up patients with chronic venous disease who have had an intervention.