Background: This study investigated the mid-term (mean, 3.7 years) clinical results and the results of duplex Doppler sonographic examinations of subfascial endoscopic perforating vein surgery (SEPS) in patients with mild to severe chronic venous insufficiency (clinical class 2-6) and assessed the factors associated with the recurrence of insufficient perforating veins (IPVs).
Methods: Eighty patients with mild to severe chronic venous insufficiency undergoing SEPS were evaluated, and duplex findings, as well as clinical severity and disability scores before and after the operation, were compared. Patients with prior deep vein thrombosis (<6 months) or prior SEPS were excluded from this study.
Results: There were 27 men and 53 women with a median age of 59.8 years (range, 34.3-80.0 years). The distribution of clinical classes (CEAP) was as follows: class 2, 13.1% (12 limbs); class 3, 22.8% (21 limbs); class 4, 19.6% (18 limbs); class 5, 21.7% (20 limbs); and class 6, 22.8% (21 limbs). The etiology of venous insufficiency was primary valvular incompetence in 83 limbs (90.2%) and secondary disease in 9 limbs (9.8%). Concomitant superficial vein surgery was performed in 89 limbs (95.7%). Twenty (95%) leg ulcers healed spontaneously within 12 weeks after operation, whereas one patient required additional split-thickness skin grafting. Eighteen patients had previous surgery of the great and/or short saphenous vein before SEPS. During a mean follow-up of 3.7 years, recurrence of 22 IPVs was observed in 20 (21.7%) of 92 limbs, and recurrent leg ulcers were observed in 2 (9.5%) of 21 limbs. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses to predict factors influencing the recurrence of IPVs (recurrent superficial varicosis, secondary disease, active or healed leg ulcer [C5/6], compression treatment, and previous operation). On multivariate analysis, previous surgery (P = .014) was identified as the only significant factor for the recurrence of IPVs.
Conclusions: SEPS is a safe and highly effective treatment for IPVs. Within a median follow-up period of 3.7 years, only 2 of 21 venous ulcers recurred, both in patients with secondary disease. Nevertheless, we observed recurrence of IPVs in 21.7% of the operated limbs. On multivariate analysis, patients who had undergone previous surgery were found to have a significantly higher rate of recurrence.