Re-exploration of the sapheno-femoral junction for recurrent varicose veins presents many problems. The lateral approach to the sapheno-femoral junction via a groin incision as previously described was performed in 109 lower limbs. The operative mortality rate was 0%. Functional outcome was good in 106 cases (97.2%) and only in three (2.8%) did recurrent varicose veins occur in the upper thigh. Complications were mainly lymphorrhoea (six cases, 5.5%). Cosmetic results were also satisfactory. This surgical procedure allows an easy and safe approach to the sapheno-femoral junction and avoids damage to femoral vessels. Recurrence was rare and caused by incompetent communicating veins in the upper thigh. These characteristics make the lateral approach the preferred technique for re-exploration of the sapheno-femoral junction.