Sensory abnormalities and bruising after long saphenous vein stripping: Impact on short-term quality of life

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Abstract

Background: We assessed the impact of postoperative sensory abnormalities and bruising after long saphenous vein (LSV) stripping on short-term quality of life (QOL). Methods: Seventy patients with LSV incompetence were recruited before surgery. Surgery involved saphenofemoral disconnection, stripping of the LSV in the thigh, and multiple stab avulsions in all patients. Sensory abnormalities (subjective and objective) and bruising were recorded at two follow-up visits (mean, 8 and 47 days). The bruised area was traced manually, and the surface area was estimated by placing the tracing on a square chart. A QOL assessment was performed before surgery and repeated during the second visit by using the Aberdeen Varicose Veins Questionnaire. Minitab version 13.32 was used for statistical analysis. Results: Eight patients either did not complete follow-up or were excluded from the final analysis. Final analysis was performed on 63 limbs in 62 patients (27 men and 35 women; age, 19-75 years). The overall incidence of postoperative sensory abnormality was 40% (25/63 limbs). This included numbness or decreased sensation in 36.5% (23/63), paresthesia in 8% (5/63), and dysesthesia in 1.6% (1/63). Irrespective of the presence of sensory abnormalities, QOL scores improved after surgery (mean change in QOL score, -7.58 and -7.52; SE, 1.1 and 1.3 in those with and without sensory abnormalities, respectively). There was no significant difference either in the degree of improvement in the QOL score (P = .972; t test) or in the proportion of patients with an improved score (P = .69; Fisher exact test) between the groups with and without sensory abnormalities. Postoperative bruising at first follow-up ranged from 28 to 1419 cm2 (mean, 500.7 cm2; median, 438 cm2). Both groups - those who bruised less than the median value (438 cm2) and those who bruised more than the median value - showed improved postoperative QOL scores (mean change in QOL score, -7.64 and -7.46; SE, 1.3 and 1.3, respectively). There was no significant difference either in the degree of improvement in the QOL score (P = .924; t test) or in the proportion of patients with an improved score (P = .422; Fisher exact test). All patients with persistent bruising at the second follow-up (26%) also showed an improvement in the QOL score (mean change in QOL score, -10.29). Conclusions: Conventional surgery for varicose veins with stripping of the LSV is associated with significant morbidity of sensory abnormalities and bruising. However, this does not adversely affect postoperative improvement in short-term QOL. Copyright © 2005 by The Society for Vascular Surgery.

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Subramonia, S., & Lees, T. (2005). Sensory abnormalities and bruising after long saphenous vein stripping: Impact on short-term quality of life. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 42(3), 510.e1-510.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2005.05.021

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