Leg ulcers are debilitating and painful. Severe ulceration can greatly reduce the patient’s quality of life. Over 90% of lower limb ulcers are caused by Venous problems, arterial diseases, and neuropathy.
Typically, Venous ulcers form on the ankles and lower legs. Venous ulcers are characterized by uneven edges and a reddish-brown pigmentation. They form when the vein valves turn faulty, and the vein does not return blood back to the heart as it should, and blood starts to accumulate in the lower extremities. These shallow, superficial, and irregularly shaped ulcers can vary in size. Pain is typically less severe as with an arterial ulcer.
Arterial ulcers often affect the heels, outer ankles, and the tips of your toes. It occurs when the body tissues suffer from inadequate blood supply due to some arterial disease which result in narrowing and hardening of arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to legs and feet.
Unlike venous ulcers, arterial ulcers have well defined edges, and are generally round and deep. The affected leg might look paler in color. Such sores won’t bleed and due to the poor blood circulation, would feel cold upon touch. Arterial ulcers can cause intense leg pain especially during nights.
Neuropathic ulcers tend to occur on the sole of the foot or over pressure points.
Clinical investigation & Diagnosis
If you notice a wound that is not healing or is infected, it is necessary to consult a doctor. With mere inspection of the skin sores your doctor will be able to diagnose an ulcer. Swelling and skin discoloration, if any, will be checked. Sometimes he may recommend imaging tests such as a CT scan to check the veins and circulation in the affected area.
Patients with foot ulceration require prompt intervention and hence proper hospital visits and consultation is very significant. If your leg ulcer is caused by an infection or diabetes, it is very crucial that the underlying cause is treated.
If arterial issues are present, angioplasty or stent placement will be performed which will remove the blocks and open up the arteries.
If your leg ulcer is due to varicose veins and venous insufficiency in your legs, a vascular specialist can help restore a healthy blood flow which is essential in such cases.
Managing Venous Ulcers
Compression stockings and bandages are found to be quite effective in improving the circulation in the veins though the application procedure is time consuming. For compression bandaging to be safely applied, the ankle brachial pressure index (ABI Index) which is a measure of blood flow to your extremities must be at least 0.8. Nurses need to be properly trained to measure the ankle brachial pressure index and apply compression bandages safely.
The bandages should be changed once or twice a week. It may also be uncomfortable for daily use. Complete cure or proper restoration of circulation is not possible without additional treatment.
Sclerotherapy for Venous ulcers
A highly effective treatment for ulcers, an alternative to surgery in patients with venous ulcers, is Sclerotherapy. This is a minimally invasive procedure for removing the damaged veins.
Procedural results are excellent and comparable to surgery but with much lesser complications. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution using a small needle directly into the damaged veins, eventually causing them to shrink and disappear.
The treatment benefits include high healing rates and a less recurrence rate compared to other treatment options.
Personalized treatment at Avis Vascular center
At Avis Vascular center, treatment for venous ulcer is tailored based on your medical history and severity of the condition.
Sclerotherapy technique can be performed in conjunction with endovenous ablation of veins. Followed with proper wound care and compression therapy, this treatment modality is proven to promote rapid healing of venous ulcers. Talk to our experts at Avis Vascular Center today to know the best treatment option for you.
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