Purpose: Flush saphenofemoral ligation, with multiple cosmetic stab phlebectomy, successfully treats saphenofemoral reflux and superficial varicosities. The long-term effect on the residual greater saphenous vein (GSV) requires evaluation.
Methods: Noninvasive triplex ultrasound assessment of the residual GSV for potential use as a vein graft was used. We evaluated the independent objective and subjective cosmetic outcomes. We also used analysis to determine the correlation between GSV reflux, symptoms, and cosmetic outcome.
Results: Seventy-two limbs were assessed at a median follow-up of 4 years (interquartile range 3 to 5 years). Fifty-nine limbs had patent GSVs above and below the knee. The mean length patent was 51 cm, and the mean internal diameters above and below the knee were 3.6 and 2.8 mm, respectively. In 65% of cases the vein had suitable ultrasonic characteristics, suggesting that it would be suitable for use as a conduit for a vascular bypass graft. Sixty-two limbs were considered a symptomatic success and 61 an objective cosmetic success. There was no correlation between the symptomatic and cosmetic outcome and the presence of superficial GSV reflux (linear regression analysis).
Conclusions: These findings support the effectiveness of the procedure of flush saphenofemoral ligation and multiple stab phlebectomy with regard to cosmetic and symptomatic outcome and may preserve the GSV for use as an autologous bypass graft.