Hemodynamics-based treatment of varices: A therapeutic concept counteracting the intrinsic tendency of varicose veins to recur

Phlebology. 2016 Dec;31(10):704-711. doi: 10.1177/0268355516664809. Epub 2016 Sep 23.


Varicose vein disease is characterized by tenacious tendency to recur. Measures recommended to prevent recurrences (flush ligation at the saphenofemoral junction, removal of incompetent great saphenous vein in the thigh, and insertion of mechanical barriers in the fossa ovalis) did not succeed in preventing recurrence. Reflux recurrence is triggered by the hemodynamic phenomenon called hemodynamic paradox. Abolition of saphenous reflux removes the hemodynamic disturbance of any degree of severity but at the same time it releases the pathological process leading to recurrent reflux. This process is induced by drainage of venous blood from incompetent superficial thigh veins into deep lower leg veins during calf pump activity, which evokes the development of ambulatory pressure gradient between the femoral vein and incompetent segments of the saphenous system in the thigh. The pressure gradient sets off biophysical and biochemical events inducing recurrent reflux. The designed therapeutic strategy consists of reliable abolition of saphenous reflux and of hindering the pathological drainage of venous blood at the knee level in order to preclude development of the hemodynamic preconditions for reflux recurrence. In this way, the dividing line of the ambulatory pressure gradient would be kept below the knee, as is the case with healthy people.

Keywords: Recurrent varices; varicose veins; venous pressure; venous reflux.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Saphenous Vein* / pathology
  • Saphenous Vein* / physiopathology
  • Varicose Veins* / pathology
  • Varicose Veins* / physiopathology
  • Varicose Veins* / therapy