Venous Ulcers: Causes, Management, and Complications

Posted on May 12 2017 - 1:00am by Admin

Old Woman with Venous UlcerVenous ulcer is a medical condition that causes nearly 80% of all cases of lower extremity ulcers. The presence of skin ulceration signifies severe, prolonged absence or decreased blood flow in the leg. Due to the prevalence of this disorder, it is crucial to know its causes, treatment, and complications.

What is a Venous Ulcer?

A venous ulcer or stasis leg ulcer is a shallow lesion that occurs when blood is unable to circulate back into the heart. Characterized by the formation of a wound, it often appears on the sides of the lower extremities and above the ankles.

What Causes Venous Ulcer?

Venous ulcer or stasis ulcer occurs due to damage to the valves that control blood flow in the lower extremities. Since these valves function as one-way structures that promote blood circulation towards the heart, structural pathology of the valves alters blood flow.

This leads to the inability of blood to properly flow in the veins, which results to pooling into the surrounding leg tissue. As a result, a breakdown of tissue barriers ensues, leading to the formation of shallow skin wounds.

How is Venous Ulcer Treated?

Noninvasive management is the initial treatment option in cases of venous ulcers in St. George. Hence, vascular specialists strongly recommend frequent leg elevation to promote the return of blood to the heart and lungs. However, in refractory cases of the venous disease, doctors advise compression therapy.

Leg stockings and bandages cause vessel constriction, which would increase pressure for better blood circulation. Surgical debridement or removal of dead skin tissue surrounding the ulceration can also prevent infection and facilitate faster healing.

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Venous ulcers result to severe complications such as skin infection, bone inflammation, and malignancy. Thus, early detection of venous ulcers by a vascular specialist plays a critical role in the reduction of leg pain, swelling, and discoloration.