A recent study in France directly linked the size of the saphenous vein with complications in patients with varicose veins. A total of 2450 members (1245 people) with varicose vein symptoms were studied. Forty percent had saphenous insufficiency and 60% only minor veins. Sixty two percent of the patients with refluxing saphenous vein had normal vein diameter <6mm.
In addition, the study demonstrated that the larger the saphenous vein size (diameter), the greater the chance of presenting complications of venous insufficiency.
Important lessons from the study.
- 60% of the cases had no saphenous vein involved in the symptoms. These cases do not need a major procedures to treat.
- The majority of cases of saphenous vein reflux have no enlargement.
- Notably, the bigger the saphenous vein gets, the greater is the chance of varicose vein complications.
What does it mean to the patient?
- In our practice, over 80% of cases do not require surgery to treat. Maybe our patients seek help earlier.
- The fact that the saphenous vein is normal size in most cases corroborates the central idea of CHIVA. The vein is a conduit that enlarges with the pressure, not the disease per se. Techniques that destroy the saphenous vein would eliminate 62% of normal-size saphenous veins. These veins only have reflux (that can be resolved by eliminating its source).
- Concerning size of the saphenous vein and complications. The larger is the saphenous vein, the greater the chance of serious disease.