Crossectomy and great saphenous vein stripping

R. J. Winterborn, J. J. Earnshaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Crossectomy and stripping have been the standard of care for primary great saphenous varicose veins since the high failure rates of sclerotherapy became apparent in the 1970s. As the specialty of venous surgery has evolved, a number of clinical trials have established the optimal methods of surgical treatment, and the clinical benefit of routine stripping. Long-term trials, however, have uncovered a high recurrence rate after varicose vein surgery that approaches 70% after 10 years. There is much debate about whether this is the result of the dilatation of existing tributaries in the groin or the growth of new veins as a result of angiogenesis that follows surgical treatment and healing (neovascularisation). The addition of barrier technology to current crossectomy has the potential to improve the results of surgery in the future. In the meanwhile, new techniques are evolving to obliterate the great saphenous vein, including endovenous laser, radiofrequency ablation and foam sclerotherapy. Randomised clinical trials are urgently required to compare these new treatments against standard surgery, and they will need to focus on whether the short-term gains in reduced convalescence and morbidity are balanced by durable long-term results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Crossectomy
  • Saphenous vein
  • Stripping
  • Veins


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