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Late follow‐up of a randomized trial of routine duplex imaging before varicose vein surgery. BJS 2011; 98: 1112-1116.

Published: 27th May 2011

Authors: L. Blomgren, G. Johansson, L. Emanuelsson, A. Dahlberg‐Åkerman, P. Thermaenius, D. Bergqvist et al.

Background

Routine preoperative duplex examination led to an improvement in results 2 years after surgery for primary varicose veins. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of preoperative duplex imaging after 7 years, in relation to other risk factors for varicose vein recurrence.

Method

Patients with primary varicose veins were randomized to operation with (group 1), or without (group 2) preoperative duplex imaging. The same patients were invited to attend follow‐up with interview, clinical examination and duplex imaging. Quality of life (QoL) was measured with the Short Form 36 questionnaire.

Results

Some 293 patients (343 legs) were included initially; after 7 years 227 were interviewed, or their records reviewed: 114 in group 1 and 113 in group 2. One hundred and ninety‐four legs (95 in group 1 and 99 in group 2) were examined clinically and with duplex imaging. Incompetence was seen at the saphenofemoral junction and/or saphenopopliteal junction in 14 per cent of legs in group 1 and 46 per cent in group 2 (P < 0·001). QoL was similar in both groups. After a mean follow‐up of 7 years (and including patients who underwent surgery after the review), 15 legs in group 1 needed reoperation and 38 in group 2 (P = 0·001).

Conclusion

Routine preoperative duplex imaging improved the results of surgery for primary varicose veins for at least 7 years. Registration number: NCT01195623 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov). Copyright © 2011 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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