Venous Leg Ulcers
Venous leg ulcers represent the most severe form of venous disease. These ulcers have a characteristic location in the middle part of the ankle, just above the ankle bone (medial malleolus). The reason venous ulcers tend to form at this location is that this is usually the location of the highest venous pressure.
Once venous ulcers form, they usually take months to heal, even with adequate treatment. Without treatment, they may linger indefinitely. If definitive treatment is not done to reduce venous hypertension, these ulcers will usually recur within six to 12 months. As one can imagine, these ulcers have a very significant impact on quality of life, and their presence can lead to significant social impairment and disability. They are also the source of massive health care expenditures.
At the San Francisco Vein center, we take venous ulcers very seriously. We take the time to find the underlying cause of the ulcer using vascular ultrasonography. We then formulate an individual plan of treatment, using radiofrequency ablation, compression therapy and dressings. When needed, surgery is performed. If infection is present, antibiotics are used. In severe cases, a skin graft to replace damaged tissue may be warranted, once the wound is stable.