Until recently, patients suffering from venous ulcers were told to wear compression stockings and to elevate their legs whenever possible. Now, recent advances in minimally invasive laser vein treatment offer long lasting cures without the need for endless wraps, lotions, compression stockings and Unna boots.
Venous ulcers are wounds or open sores on the lower extremities, which are very slow to heal and often recur. They affect over 500,000 people in the United States and account for approximately 75% of all leg ulcers. They are associated with venous insufficiency or may be a complication of post-thrombotic syndrome (blood clots). The patient may suffer from pain, infection and disfigurement.
Just as smoking damages the lungs, vein problems can manifest themselves with skin discoloration, skin texture changes, and ultimately ulceration. Varicose veins are abnormal veins with broken venous valves. The result is that gravity pulls the blood backward down the vein (toward the toes) instead of the normal upward flow (toward the heart). That back pressure in the veins gets transmitted to the skin causing the damage. This can also occur in veins where prior blood clots have damaged the venous valves. Because of difficulty in healing ulcers and their propensity to recur, ulcers in the leg should be prevented at all cost. If they do begin to form, the leg should undergo aggressive evaluation to identify and treat the cause.
Venous ulcers can be diagnosed with a history and physical exam, along with duplex ultrasound, and can be distinguished from other causes of ulcers, including arterial (ischemic ulcers) and neurotrophic (diabetic) ulcers. Since there is usually abnormal blood flow reversal in the veins (reflux) of patients suffering from venous ulcers, the duplex ultrasound can accurately identify the sites of reflux in the majority of patients.
n-office, minimally invasive endovenous laser ablation and other treatment modalities can then be used to close the diseased veins, resulting in better wound healing and decreased recurrence as compared to using compression stockings as a stand-alone treatment.
At Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, I provide patients with the most up-to-date technology and procedures available for the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease in Albuquerque. I can provide timely screenings and ultrasounds for patients that present with symptoms of venous ulcers or venous disease.
Call 505-848-VEIN to schedule today.
Dr. Robert Cutchen