Objectives: Mounting evidence suggests that pelvic vein reflux is an important contributing factor to recurrent varicose veins. We compared the incidence in our specialist private unit (Unit A) with that of a District General Hospital (Unit B).
Methods: Results of all female patient lower limb duplex ultrasound (LLDUS) and transvaginal pelvic ultrasound (TVUS) scans performed over a one-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with refluxing veins emanating from the abdomen or pelvis on LLDUS (non-saphenous reflux) routinely proceeded to TVUS in Unit A.
Results: In Unit A, non-saphenous reflux on LLDUS was present in 90-462 female patients (19.5%). In 81.1% of these, TVUS confirmed reflux in truncal pelvic veins (incidence 15.8%). In Unit B, non-saphenous reflux was present in 60-279 female patients (21.5%).
Conclusion: One in five women presenting with varicose veins have reflux of non-saphenous origin. This is the case in specialist and non-specialist units. One in six has associated pelvic vein reflux.