The treatment of varicose veins with external stenting to the saphenofemoral junction

Rodney James Lane, Michael Luciano Cuzzilla, John Christopher Coroneos

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Presented are the experiences with 1,516 external valvular stents (Venocuff™ and Venocuff II™) implanted at the saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) between 1985 and 2000. To assess the applicability of the procedure it was found that the appropriate implantation was performed in 34% of 310 consecutive venous procedures. To assess patient preference between external valvular stenting and simultaneous contralateral stripping, 56 consecutive patients were followed up at 3 months postoperatively. Four percent preferred stripping, 4% had no preference, and 92% preferred Venocuff II™ implantation. Competence at the SFJ with specific duplex ultrasound indicators was 94% at 3 months (n = 100) and 90% at 4.8 years (n = 107). Minimal residual reflux (less than 50 mL/minute with maximum Valsalva) was present in the remainder but did not produce symptoms and very rarely progressed over the mean time of 5 years. The internal diameter (ID) of the long saphenous vein (LSV), 3 cm distal to the SFJ, changed from 7.6 ±2.3 mm to 4.9 ±1.1 mm (p < 0.001) and at the knee from 6.9 ±1.9 mm to 3.7 ±1.0 mm (p < 0.001). Patients presenting with underlying deep venous disease began with significantly higher ID, ie, 9.0 ±2.1 mm at the upper end of the LSV and 7.1 ±2.0 mm at the knee, but postoperatively the IDs reverted to those of postoperative patients with a normal deep venous system. To assess patients with recurrences, 366 limbs had simultaneous stripping and contralateral SFJ repair with the Venocuff II™. Of these 33 (9%) had recurrences at 4.9 years, 82% of them on the stripping side, and on the repair side half of the recurrences had a competent SFJ (9%). Limbs with an incompetent lateral or anterior accessory system, with an incompetent SFJ (168), were compared with 11 matched randomized controls where stripping was performed. The recurrence rate was 1.2% versus 36% on the strip side. The follow-up for these cases was 6.4 years. Pregnancy (n = 14) produces a high recurrence rate, but stripping and valve repairs were not significantly different, ie, despite small numbers, there was a very strong tendency toward higher recurrence rates on the stripped side. The complication rate was small and the cost of the device is low. The method allows a repairable nonablative approach that can be offered in patients where no other surgical treatment can or should be offered. External stenting to the SFJ is the preferred option for early to moderate varicose veins involving the LSV where the clinical and ultrasonic indicators have been fulfilled.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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