A leg ulcer is most often due to an underlying problem with the circulation in your legs. If you have one of these open wounds or a venous disease like varicose veins, Board-Certified Vascular and Interventional Radiologist Vinay Madan, MD, and his team at Center for Varicose Veins in Wilton, and Fairfield, Connecticut, can help. They specialize in treating leg ulcers and use treatments like ClosureFast™ radiofrequency ablation, foam sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, and VenaSeal™ vein sealant, to eliminate varicose veins. Call Center for Varicose Veins today to find out more or use the online form to book an appointment.
What is a leg ulcer?
A leg ulcer is an open wound that’s most likely to develop in the ankle area. Possible causes of leg ulcers include:
Leg ulcers can be a consequence of having varicose veins, too, and if the veins are left untreated, leg ulcers can frequently recur.
Patients with untreated varicose veins have large bulging veins in their legs near the ulcer. These bulging veins are due to a condition called venous insufficiency, where there's poor blood return to your heart. Untreated venous insufficiency predisposes you to leg ulcers.
If one or both of your parents had leg ulcers, that also increases your risk of developing one. Arterial problems can cause leg ulcers, but 70%-90% of lower leg ulcers are venous ulcers.
What are the symptoms of a leg ulcer?
Leg ulcers can cause varying symptoms depending on the underlying cause. Leg ulcers are typically painful, but sometimes they don't cause any pain — a diabetic leg ulcer may be painless because of the nerve damage that develops in poorly controlled diabetes.
If your leg ulcer is due to varicose veins, you're likely to see the veins and might experience symptoms of varicose veins such as:
The skin near your leg ulcer may become leathery, too. A leg ulcer caused by an infection is usually painful, and pus may be in the ulcer.
How is a leg ulcer diagnosed and treated?
If Dr. Madan believes that your leg ulcer is due to poor blood circulation, he orders a diagnostic ultrasound of your leg. An ultrasound scan can show if your leg ulcer is due to varicose veins and venous insufficiency or an arterial condition.
Once he's diagnosed the cause of your leg ulcer, Dr. Madan reviews the treatment options with you. If there's an artery problem in your leg, you might need to undergo a procedure such as angioplasty and stent placement to open up the arteries.
If your leg ulcer is caused by an infection or diabetes, it's vital to treat the underlying cause as well as attending to the ulcer. If your leg ulcer is due to varicose veins and venous insufficiency in your legs, restoring healthy blood flow is essential.
As well as using a wound wrap or compression stocking on your leg ulcer, you need to undergo treatment for the underlying vein disease. Options available at Center for Varicose Veins include:
A perforating vein under a leg ulcer is treatable with endovenous laser ablation, which results in the healing of the leg ulcer.
If you have a leg ulcer or symptoms of vein disease, call Center for Varicose Veins today or book an appointment online.