In Memoriam – Michel Perrin



It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Michel Perrin on Tuesday 7th March 2023.

Michel was 90 years old when he joined his beloved wife Jaqueline, leaving Ramsès, Raphaelle and Lionel behind.


Michel the Surgeon and Scientist

He was the greatest vascular surgeon of his time in France publishing close to 500 papers, chapters, and books. Not only had all French societies for vascular disease enjoyed his membership he also served as President for most. As the ambassador for French vascular surgery within the international vascular community, he had been invited on numerous occasions to speak on all continents.

He became the first President of EVF which he created together with Andrew Nicolaides in 2000. Since then, we at EVF thought of him as a father figure, often guided by his wisdom and advice.

He was an honorary member in most European societies where he was given the highest awards, such as the Ratschow medal in Germany and the gold medal in Russia that he received at the same time as Bo in Saint Petersburg in 2015. In the US he was an honorary member of both ACP and AVF. Back in 2005 Bo, as President for the AVF, invited Michel to give the prestigious Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture as his Presidential guest lecturer. His keynote speech was on “The importance of International collaboration for the development of a scientific approach in venous disease”. A topic typical for Michel. Such an honor is the highest given by AVF and he did not disappoint. He was given the Gold medal from UIP in 2018.

Michel’s leading star was the French mathematician and philosopher René Decartes who developed the concept of Methodological Scepticism –“I think, therefore I am”. Michel realized the need for a better classification of venous disease – to speak the same language. Bob Kistner, John Bergan and Bo Eklof organized a consensus meeting for AVF on Maui in 1994, moderated by Andrew Nicolaides, when the CEAP classification was created. Michel became the ambassador for CEAP in Europe. In 1998 he organized a meeting in Paris where the classification of recurrent varicose veins – REVAS – was established, based on CEAP. Together we continued to work on VEIN TERM to define terms utilized in phlebology, and SYMvein where we tried to describe venous symptoms of the legs and their relationship to chronic venous disorders. In 2018 he published the VEIN GLOSSARY together with Oscar Maleti and Bo Eklof defining more than 1000 terms used in phlebology that was translated into 6 languages.

Michel had a strong military marine historical background. He was an expert on sea battles, so much so, he often received invitations to lecture by the French admirals themselves. We remember well the outstanding applauded lecture he gave for the participants at our symposium onboard Hurtigruten along the Norwegian west coast in 2007 on “Second world war Norway sea battles April 1940”. A treasured memory for all those who were there. Michel was an epicure, enjoyed his life in Lyon, the capital of the world for good food and wine. He was a good friend of Paul Bocuse. He was always extolling the virtues of extraordinary wines and exquisite cheeses that were one of the great joys of life. Michel was someone who made things happen. Enthusiastic, full of fun and kind; he was a pioneer. Health wise the last few years presented various challenges for Michel, but he continued to participate and contribute at all the meetings he attended. We received his last Joke of the Day about Murphy, his friend Pat and the Pastor the day before Michel died, when he sent his last mail: “I bowed out 23/03/07. I will no more bother some of you by sending emails supposed to entertain. Make the most of your life that is running so fast”.

You were much loved and admired Michel, and you will be sadly missed.


Bo Eklof, Andrew Nicolaides


Michel – The person

Michel was our master, not so much to teach us how to do surgery, but to continually educate us on scientific methodology and rigor. You couldn’t speak in any terms you wanted; each term had its exact meaning and its place. His knowledge was everywhere and his desire to know the “why” of things was continuous.

One day, after asking me one too many “why’s”, exasperated I said to him: you can’t keep asking why it’s that or why it has been made like that for everything, to which he replied: why not? He liked Italian food especially the cuisine of L’Emilie, because he focused on the pig. He loved sweet ham, Emilia salami and he had a reverence for Culatello. He loved pasta and wondered how the Italians made it so al-dente. We replied that it was enough to remove them from the fire first, but he was not satisfied with this answer thinking that there was a hidden secret. He called tortellini a godsend, but he hated Lambrusco. I asked him if he thought it was really trash and he, so as not to completely disappoint me, said: maybe you could have it with breakfast. This is what we did, we organized a friendly meeting with Jerome and Geneviève, on the occasion of the slaughter of the pig on a cold winter day in the countryside of Modena. On this occasion, as the parts of the pig became available, we started eating pig for breakfast, and that’s when he tried the lambrusco, but he didn’t like it even on this occasion. He rather liked the great Tuscan and Piedmontese wines. In Italy he discovered vegetables: he always said: we don’t have that in France and that annoyed Jerome.

He had an unbridled passion for the Cathedral of Modena, the history of which he quickly learned to the point that he became an expert on the subject and described it to me in detail while we listened to one of his favorite composers: Mahler. He had no idea of a day without work. He spent many periods with us at Christmas and Easter, but even then he would work for at least a few hours. There were many meetings in Modena with other phlebologists: Bob Kistner, Andrew Nicolaides, Bo Eklof, Peter Neglen, our mutual friend Jérôme Guex and many others. Michel was the pivot around which humor revolved. He had a cheerful but difficult and firm attitude. He did not tolerate people he considered ignorant and uneducated and showed them his thoughts without hiding it. You knew where you stood with him. He defended friendship and friends with every weapon in his possession. A priceless quality in this world.

Every day he sent us the joke and now when we open our computers we think of him.

We have lost a master, a great friend and a wonderful life partner.


Oscar Maleti, Marzia Lugli

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