Venous Leg Ulcers

Learn About Venous Leg Ulcers

Venous Leg Ulcers are open wounds on the ankles or lower legs caused by neglected chronic venous insufficiency. If not treated properly, these non-healing ulcers frequently become larger, deeper, more weepy, and eventually refuse to heal up at all. Experienced venous surgeon, Dr. Clint Hayes has been successfully healing these bothersome venous leg wounds for over twenty years. Dr. Hayes and his expert team at the Vein Center of North Texas command the latest cutting-edge techniques to diagnose and treat all stages of venous disease, including the underlying causes of non-healing leg ulcers. They are ready to help you with your problem venous leg ulcer. Give them a call at (903) 893-0123 to schedule an appointment and get back on the road to recovery. 

Q: What are Venous Leg Ulcers?

A:  Venous Leg Ulcers are open wounds or sores of the lower leg or ankle. These leg wounds tend to heal very slowly, keep returning, or refuse to heal altogether despite proper wound care. They are usually triggered by a minor injury, but are really the result of underlying poor venous circulation. The sores cause daily aching and sharp pain. They are usually quite tender to touch and are prone to becoming infected with heavy drainage, pus formation, and a strong odor.

Q: What causes Venous Leg Ulcers?

A: Venous ulcers are the result of years of poor circulation in saphenous and perforator veins, a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. These diseased saphenous and perforator veins generate high pressures and elevated levels of toxic cellular wastes. Over time, these conditions destroy the delicate capillaries, skin structures, and subcutaneous tissues making them prone to injury and ulcer formation.

Q: What are the risk factors for Venous Leg Ulcers?

A: Conditions predisposing to leg ulcer formation:

  • Venous Insufficiency
  • History of Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Increasing age
  • Obesity
  • Lack of routine exercise
  • Ankle immobility
  • Genetic predisposition

Q: How do Venous Leg Ulcers start?

A: Most non-healing leg ulcers start with a minor injury such as bumping a piece of furniture or being scratched by a devoted pet. Rather than healing normally, this minor injury enlarges, becomes red, angry, and infected, and eventually refuses to heal at all.

Q: How do you diagnose Venous Leg Ulcers?

A: The characteristic appearance and the location of the ulcer in the lower leg or ankle usually make diagnosis of Venous Leg Ulcers quite straightforward. A standard venous duplex ultrasound examination will reveal or exclude the presence of the underlying circulatory disorders that lead to the formation of Venous Leg Ulcers.

There are other metabolic and circulatory conditions that can create non-healing wounds in the lower legs, however, and these conditions should be ruled out as part of a standard initial evaluation. 

Q: How do you get rid of Venous Leg Ulcers?

A: Venous ulcers are particularly notorious for refusing to heal. In order to heal the ulcer, a two-pronged approach is required:

  1. You must utilize the best wound care principles on the ulcer itself.
  2. You must address the underlying chronic venous insufficiency.

Dr. Hayes is broadly experienced in all facets of the successful treatment of leg ulcers and brings this expertise to bear on each and every wound care patient. He works closely with local wound care experts who carry out the treatment of the wound while he concentrates on diagnosing and eliminating the underlying venous disease. 

Dr. Hayes and his expert team at the Vein Center of North Texas have successfully treated thousands of chronic leg ulcers since the center’s founding in 2004. They are familiar with non-operative techniques used to hasten recovery and are experienced with the latest procedures such as VenaSeal™, ClosureFast™, Endovenous Laser Ablation, Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, microphlebectomy, etc. Dr. Hayes will formulate a plan to help heal your venous leg ulcer as quickly as possible. 

Wound Care Principles:

  1. Seek the help of a certified wound care center.
  2. Wear medical compression stockings or pressure dressings each day as instructed.
  3. Keep the wound as clean as possible.
  4. Establish a daily walking / exercise regimen. Then stick to it.
  5. When resting during the day, keep your feet elevated. Above the level of your waist is adequate. Above the level of your heart is better.
  6. Address the underlying circulatory issues.

Q: Am I a going to get a Venous Leg Ulcer?

A: Venous Leg Ulcers are the final stage of chronic venous insufficiency and usually follow years of neglected spider veins, varicose veins, leg swelling, inflammation, skin thinning and darkening, cellulitis, etc. However, not everyone with chronic venous insufficiency develops venous leg ulcers. It’s not currently possible to tell which patients with chronic venous insufficiency will end up with non-healing leg ulcers. If your signs and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency continue to progress, call (903) 893-0123 to schedule an appointment and nip your leg ulcers in the bud.