What are venous ulcers?
Venous ulcers are the result of venous insufficiency, deep vein disease, varicose veins, or perforator vein disease. Due to the venous reflux (when a valve isn’t working properly, the blood flows in both directions), blood begins to pool in the legs. The skin and other tissues around the refluxing vein becomes malnourished and toxic, creating skin problems, including venous ulcers.
As we discussed on our page for varicose veins, many people have a belief that varicose veins are a cosmetic issue only, not realizing that costly and painful complications can arise.
What are the symptoms of venous ulcers?
There are several symptoms of venous ulcers. These are:
- Open wounds over the affected vein
- Painful & swollen legs
- Skin discoloration in the legs
What are my varicose vein treatment options?
There are a variety of treatment options for venous ulcers. Your individual treatment options will be dependent on the location of the vein and how advanced your condition is. The earlier you seek treatment, the better your outcome is likely to be.
You can expect one or more of the following treatments:
This may include debridement of the wound, applying a dressing to the wound, and/or prescribing antibiotics for infection.
Custom Fitted Compression Stockings
Unlike store bought compression stockings, you are measured for a perfect fit. They provide relief from mild varicose vein pain and other symptoms.
EndoVenous Laser Ablation
Performed in office using local anesthesia (Lidocaine), a diode laser fiber is inserted into the affected vein. The laser energy seals off the vein with very little to no scarring and a short recovery. Recovery includes wearing a compression stocking for seven days and nights following the procedure, but you can resume normal activity immediately.
Endovenous laser treatment is one of our most used treatments for varicose veins. It has a very short recovery period. In fact, you should be up and walking immediately following the procedure and your leg only needs to stay wrapped up for 24 hours. Most people experience very little, if any, pain.
You will need to follow up with the doctor in one to three weeks for an ultrasound of the vein to verify that the vein closed.
Sometimes veins do not close after EndoVenous Laser Treatment. When this happens, sclerotherapy is used to close any remaining varicose veins, often immediately following the EndoVenous Treatment. It may take three to five treatments to achieve desired results.
Schlerotherapy is performed in office. During schlerotherapy, an injected solution flushes red blood cells from the vein. There may be a slight stinging sensation for approximately 20-30 seconds after the injection. You may even feel a slight cramping feeling. The flushing creates an inflammatory reaction that causes fibrous tissue to form and close off the vein.
Performed in office, this treatment consists of closing veins by injecting a solution into the vein. It is performed the same day or soon after EndoVenous Laser Ablation, usually over three to five treatment sessions.
Ninety percent of patients will see improvement after schlerotherapy treatment.
The varicose vein is surgically removed under general anesthesia and requires up to four weeks of recovery.
Are untreated venous ulcers dangerous?
Yes, that’s why it is so important to get treatment for varicose veins before complications arise. Left untreated, venous ulcers can lead to serious problems, including:
- Deterioration of quality life
- Increased enlargement of existing varicose veins
- Worsening of the ulcer
- Hyperpigmentation and eczema
- Bleeding of the vein
- Chronic swelling of the legs
- Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein)
- Thrombosis (blood clots in a vein)
Will insurance cover venous ulcer treatment?
Most insurances should cover venous ulcer treatment, including treatment of the varicose veins. Way before it reaches the point of venous ulcers, treatment for varicose veins is much more than a cosmetic procedure. Left untreated, venous ulcers can lead to serious health problems.
If, for some reason, your insurance does not cover treatment for varicose veins, My VeinCare offers discounts to self-pay patients, as well as Care Credit financing.
Venous Ulcer Specialist in WV
Contact My VeinCare today for an initial consultation with a vein specialist for venous ulcer treatment.
Charleston, WV Office: 304-926-1001
(Located in Kanawha City. Providing treatment to Cross Lanes, Dunbar, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, and surrounding cities in the Greater Charleston area.)
Beckley, WV Office: 304-926-1001
(Providing treatment to the Greater Beckley area, including Lester, Mabscott, Rhodell, and Sophia.)