Purpose: Direct surgical ligation of incompetent perforating veins has been reported to effectively treat severe chronic venous insufficiency. It is associated, however, with significant wound complications. We evaluate our early experience with endoscopic subfascial division of the perforating veins. Methods: From August 5, 1993, to December 31, 1994, 11 legs in nine patients (five male and four female) were treated with endoscopic subfascial division of perforating veins. Nine of the 11 legs had active or recently healed venous ulcers. Mean duration of the ulcerations was 5.6 years. Standard laparoscopic equipment with two 10-mm ports was used to perform clipping and division of medial perforating veins through two small incisions made just below the knee, avoiding the area of ulcer and lipodermatosclerosis. Carbon dioxide was insufflated at a pressure of 30 mm Hg into the subfascial space to facilitate dissection, and a pneumatic thigh tourniquet was used to obtain a bloodless operating field. Concomitant removal of superficial veins was performed in eight limbs. Mean follow up was 9.7 months (range, 2 to 13 months). Results: A mean of 4.4 perforating veins (range, 2 to 7) were divided; tourniquet time averaged 58 minutes (range, 30 to 72). Wound infection of a groin incision and superficial thrombophlebitis were early complications; each occurred in one patient. In seven legs the ulcer healed or did not recur and symptoms resolved. In three legs the ulceration improved, and in one it was unchanged. Conclusions: Endoscopic subfascial division of perforating veins seems to be a safe technique, with favorable early results obtained in a small number of patients. This preliminary experience supports further clinical trials to evaluate this technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine