The importance of treating leg ulcers early

30th May 2018 by Daryll Baker0
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A leg ulcer is an open sore which develops under broken skin when bacteria or air gets into the wound. Leg ulcers most commonly appear on the inside of the leg, above the ankle. As leg ulcers can be painful and debilitating, treatment is usually required to heal the wound.

If you suffer from a venous leg ulcer, taking early action to destroy the malfunctioning veins can significantly improve the chances of the ulcers healing.

This was the finding of a new study led by Imperial College London. The study involved analysing 450 patients suffering from leg ulcers from around the UK. Half of the patients received treatment for varicose veins, which often lead to leg ulcers, within two weeks.

The treatment involved surgery under a local anaesthetic in which a foam detergent was injected into the affected area. The vein was destroyed or closed using heat or a laser.

The other half of patients underwent treatment for varicose veins after their ulcer had healed, or, if the ulcer was still there, after six months.

All patients were asked to wear compression stockings and were tracked over the course of a year.

The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that the ulcers healed more quickly in the patients who had received varicose vein treatment within two weeks. On average, the ulcers healed in 56 days for those who received treatment first. This compared to an average of 86 days for those whose treatment was delayed.

Talking about the importance of receiving early treatment for leg ulcers, Professor Alun Davies, lead author of the study, said:

“Leg ulcers can significantly impact on a patient’s quality of life and in severe cases can lead to someone losing part of their limb.”

“Most patients are only offered compression stockings without being referred on for treatment that tackles the root of the problem – the faulty vein.”

If you require treatment for varicose veins or leg ulcer management, the Vascular Consultancy provides a range of effective treatment for both of these often-associated conditions.

Get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy and have your varicose veins and leg ulcers treated without delay.


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Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.

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