Abstract. The vein of Giacomini is often identified with the cranial extension of the small saphenous vein despite the fact that according to the international interdisciplinary anatomical nomenclature they are distinguished from one another.
The objective of the research was to improve the results of treatment of patients with lower limb primary chronic venous disease disease studying the variation in anatomy and pathology of the vein of Giacomini and the cranial extension of the small saphenous vein with subsequent development of differential surgical tactics.
Materials and methods. 502 patients with primary chronic venous disease on 605 legs were examined and treated. Each patient underwent preoperative ultrasonographic triplex scanning of the lower limb venous system.
Results. Varicose dilatation of the vein of Giacomini was observed in 3.8% of patients (95% CI 2.4-5.6 %), and the pathology of the cranial extension of the small saphenous vein was detected in 1.7% of patients (95% CI 0.8-3.0%). When the arch of the small saphenous vein was present the following variations in the pathology of the vein of Giacomini were observed: 1) the spread of reflux from the great saphenous vein to the vein of Giacomini; 2) reflux from the terminal valve of the small saphenous vein intensified the antegrade flow of blood within the vein of Giacomini resulting in reflux in the great saphenous vein distal to the point where the vein of Giacomini drained into the great saphenous vein. The causes of failure of the valves in the trunk of the cranial extension of the small saphenous vein included: 1) reflux from the ostium of the cranial extension of the small saphenous vein; 2) perforating vein reflux; 3) reflux from the terminal valve of the small saphenous vein.
Conclusions. The pathology of the vein of Giacomini and the cranial extension of the small saphenous vein is not homogeneous; therefore, surgical tactics in every patient has to be hemodynamically justified and differentiated depending on the pathways of pathological reflux spreading.
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