Venous Ulcers

Venous ulcers are painful, open wounds that develop due to chronic venous insufficiency, often found on the lower legs.

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What is a Venous Ulcer?

A venous ulcer is a sore that forms on the skin of the leg due to problems with blood flow within the leg veins. They usually develop on the inside of the leg, just above the ankle. They are typically slow to heal and may recur.

thrombo phlebitis

Symptoms of Venous Ulcers

The symptoms of venous ulcers can include:

  • Aching, itching or cramping in the affected limb
  • Swollen ankles, legs or feet
  • Skin discolouration/hardening around the ulcer
  • Foul-smelling discharge

What causes a Venous Ulcer?

A venous leg ulcer forms on the skin as a result of long-term increased pressure within the veins of the lower limb (venous hypertension). This increased pressure can damage the blood vessels in the skin and lead to the development of an ulcer.

Venous Ulcer risk factors

There are several factors that increase the risk of a person developing a venous leg ulcer. These include:

  • Varicose veins / venous insufficiency – swollen veins caused by malfunctioning vein valves.
  • Previous deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Obesity
  • Previous leg trauma/surgery
  • Immobility
  • Pregnancy
  • Increasing age
  • Smoking

Diagnosis of Venous Ulcers

There is no definitive test to diagnose a venous ulcer. A venous ulcer is typically diagnosed after a physical exam and a review of a patient’s medical history. However, some tests that may be used to help diagnose a venous ulcer include:

  • Venous duplex ultrasound: This test can help identify whether there is reflux within the veins of the lower limb and whether there are vein blockages. It can also aid in treatment planning if there is an underlying venous reflux identified.
  • Ankle Brachial Index (ABI): This test may be useful to assess whether the ulcer is caused by a problem with the leg arteries rather than the veins. It is important that this test is performed as the main treatment for venous ulcers involves compression bandages/stockings to improve venous circulation. However, it’s not safe to apply compression if there is poor arterial supply to the lower limbs.

Venous Ulcer treatment

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the treatment of venous ulcers. The approach that is most likely to be successful will vary depending on the individual and the extent and severity of the venous ulcer. Treatment may include:

  • Cleaning/debridement: This is the process of removing dead or damaged tissue from a wound. This provides the best conditions for the ulcer to heal.
  • Dressings: Dressings are used to keep the wound moist and help it heal.
  • Compression therapy: this involves using compression stockings, wraps, or bandages to apply pressure to the leg veins and encourage blood flow upwards towards the heart.

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It is always best to prevent the development of a venous ulcer. Wearing compression stockings, stopping smoking, elevating your legs, losing weight, and avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting can help.

Venous Ulcers and how we can help

Venous ulcers can be difficult to heal and often require specialised care.

At Vein doctors Sydney, we have extensive experience in treating venous ulcers and addressing the underlying causes. We offer a variety of effective treatments for this condition. Our team of vein specialists will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific situation.

If you are suffering from a venous ulcer, please call us today to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to help you get on the road to healing.

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This consultation is the perfect way for you to learn about what we can do to help you become free of the pain and discomfort of your varicose veins. From start to finish a consultation takes about 45 minutes and the valuable information you will receive will enable you to make important healthcare decisions about your varicose veins.

  • A comprehensive venous ultrasound will be performed
  • A vascular doctor will discuss the results with you, answer any questions you may have and present various treatment options
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