What is a venous ulcer?
Venous ulcers are the most advanced stage of vein disease. A venous ulcer is a shallow wound on your leg that heals very slowly. It occurs when veins fail to return blood back to the heart properly. The blood pools and builds up pressure until a seemingly shallow injury becomes a slow healing open wound.
Venous ulcers are common in patients who have a history of leg swelling, varicose veins, or a history of blood clots in either the superficial or the deep veins of the legs. Venous ulcers affect almost 500,000 to 600,000 people in the United States every year and account for 80-90 percent of all leg ulcers.
What are the symptoms?
Venous ulcers are usually red in color and may be covered with yellow fibrous tissue. The venous ulcers have borders that are usually irregularly shaped. There may be a green or yellow discharge if the ulcer is infected. Fluid drainage can be significant.
Symptoms may include:
- Itchy or burning sensation
- A rash or dry skin
- Brownish discoloration
- A foul-smelling fluid oozing from the sore
If an ulcer becomes infected:
- A redness or swelling of the surrounding skin
- Worsening pain
- A fever
How are they treated?
Quick, effective outpatient visits treat the root cause, not just the symptoms.
We treat vein issues using a stepwise approach. We start by identifying the problem with an ultrasound study of the legs. Once the bad veins are identified, we discuss the various treatment options and tell you which ones we think are the best for you.
Elevation of the affected area and use of compression bandages or stockings are often sufficient to treat venous ulcers. If they become infected, antibiotics will be prescribed to help fight off the bacteria. In extreme cases surgery might be necessary to improve the circulation in your legs.
The Vein Center of Arizona offers patients a wide variety of treatment options:
Comprehensive Treatment Plan
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Endovenous Laser Treatment