Treatment – Leg ulcer management

Leg ulcer management

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Treatment requires expert nursing care and consists of getting the wound clean and then stimulating skin to cover the wound as well as treating the underlying venous disease.

The wound is cleaned (or debrided) by a combination of three techniques:

Skin cover is obtained by either a skin graft or waiting for the clean wound to heal on its own.


Making a skin graft


The venous disease is managed with compression dressings and removing any superficially diseased veins

Before applying the compression dressings the wound is cleaned

cleaning a leg ulcer wound

cleaning a leg wound ulcer

A protective “cream” layer is then applied and then compression dressings are applied.

The degree of compression depends on the dressing and the person putting it on. Ideally it should not be applied if there is any compromise to the arterial blood supply to the leg as is confirmed with normal ankle pulses checked with a Doppler ultrasound.


Doppler pulse check of arterial blood supply


Applying compression

Once the ulcer is healed it is important to continue to wear support stockings to reduce the risk of it coming back



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.


Wellington Hospital
34 Circus Road

020 7722 7370

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