Abstract Objectives To assess the diagnosis and outcome of a haemodynamic strategy for the treatment of primary varicose veins associated with anterograde diastolic flow (ADF) in the Giacomini vein (GV). Methods ADF in the GV, with the escape point located at the saphenopopliteal junction, was demonstrated in 15 patients (15 limbs) by duplex ultrasound. No other escape points were seen in this group. ADF was defined as the flow present in the relaxing phase after isometric contraction of the lower limb, measured in the standing position. Duplex and clinical follow-up was performed prospectively at 1 week, at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months and once per year thereafter, between 1998 and 2001. Surgery consisted of flush division of the GV from the small saphenous vein (SSV) and division of the incompetent collateral veins from the GV. Results GV diameter showed an average reduction from 6 to 4mm 33 months after surgery. Fourteen patients (93%) showed no symptoms or varicose veins. GV reconnection and recurrent ADF was demonstrated in two patients (13%). Conclusions ADF is a rare condition associated with primary varicose veins. ADF occurs when there is a closed venovenous shunt with recirculation in the muscular diastole. This implies that, although a part of the circuit is ascendant, the re-entry point must be located downstream to the scape point. Accurate duplex assessment is required to distinguish this atypical haemodynamic condition from an abnormal systolic circuit bypassing a deep vein obstruction. Interruption of the GV above its junction with the SSV abolished ADF with an acceptable rate of recurrences.