Analysis of a series of patients with varicose vein recurrence

J Int Med Res. 2012;40(3):1156-65. doi: 10.1177/147323001204000336.


Objective: Varicose veins of the lower extremities is a common clinical condition. Although surgical treatment is often successful, the recurrence rate remains high. This retrospective study evaluated the reasons for postoperative recurrence of varicose veins by analysing ultrasonography and venography findings in patients with recurrent disease.

Methods: A series of consecutive cases of recurrent varicose veins of the lower limbs was reviewed. Data collected included clinical characteristics, symptoms and vascular imaging.

Results: The study included 109 legs with recurrent varicose veins (92 patients): 101/109 legs (92.7%) showed perforating vein insufficiency and 86/109 (78.9%) showed reflux of the superficial femoral vein, of varying degrees of severity. Residual saphenous vein was recorded for 82 legs (75.2%), while 19 (17.4%) had blocked iliac veins due to post-thrombotic syndrome.

Conclusions: Several factors that may contribute to varicose vein recurrence have been identified. These include failure to ligate perforating veins and initial failure to perform the appropriate surgical intervention. Prevention of varicose vein recurrence after surgical correction requires a more extensive use of preoperative imaging, to tailor surgical intervention to suit individual patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebography
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color
  • Varicose Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Varicose Veins / physiopathology*