Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

New Treatment Protocol for Venous Leg Ulcers Heals Faster and Is More Successful Long-Term

A little blister, a tiny puncture or a small scrape can quickly turn into a venous leg ulcer that just won’t heal when your vein health is compromised. 

Venous reflux happens when the valves inside your leg veins weaken, allowing blood to pool in the veins rather than moving back up towards the heart. Also called chronic venous insufficiency, it causes varicose veins as the condition worsens. Venous ulcers develop where the blood collects and pools, as oxygen and nutrients cannot move through the veins to heal the wound. Venous ulcers that are slow to heal are more at risk for infection, causing cellulitis, a potentially serious skin infection, and gangrene, which leads to amputation of the affected limb. 

Dr. Eugene Tanquilut here at Vascular Specialists says, "For decades, doctors have been treating venous ulcers conservatively, with compression stockings and wound care. Often, ulcers are very slow to heal, taking months to resolve. Treatment with endovenous ablation is considered only after many months of conservative treatment, and these ulcers have a high likelihood of returning."

Now, a new six-year study shows that aggressive ablation treatment earlier is much more effective in healing and in preventing recurrence. 

Ablation is the application of heat inside the vein to damage and close off the affected vein.  Your Vascular Specialists surgeon will insert a catheter into the affected vein through a small opening in the skin. The catheter will emit a gentle heat that damages the tissue inside the vein.  The vein contracts and blood no longer flows through it, eliminating the pooling.

When patients with venous leg ulcers were quickly treated with endovenous ablation, ulcers healed 15% faster, with no scab or dressing requirements. Because ablation treats the underlying cause of the ulcer, the risk of a recurrence of the ulcer is reduced by about 15-20%. When presenting these findings, researchers noted that faster treatment with endovenous ablation not only improves patient outcomes and quality of life, it also results in lower medical expenses for treatment overall, as patients require less wound care treatment and less need for recurring treatment. 

Dr. Tanquilut agrees with these researchers’ recommendations to change the standards of venous leg ulcer care. “If we can move from using compression stockings and conservative care to more frequent and faster use of endovenous ablation, we will help prevent infections, which helps avoid gangrene and amputations. Our patients will feel better faster, regain their mobility sooner and improve their quality of life.” 

If you or a loved one has a chronic wound in your foot, ankle, shins or calves, call 815-824-4406. Make an appointment to discuss endovenous ablation with your Vascular Specialist board-certified surgeon. You’ll heal faster and more completely. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Vascular Ultrasound: What to Expect

Vascular ultrasounds are invaluable when it comes to treatment plans for vascular conditions like varicose veins or venous insufficiency. If you’re scheduled for an upcoming vascular ultrasound, here’s everything you need to know.

Vascular Surgeons Are Expert At Diagnosis

Dr. Tanquilut explains three common vascular diagnostic tests; why your primary care physician may order them, what happens during the test and what your medical professionals are looking for in the results.

Benefits of Venous Ablation for Varicose Veins

Are you tired of living with your varicose veins? Endovenous ablation is a common treatment for varicose veins. In this blog, we highlight the many advantages of treating varicose veins with this procedure.

Leg Swelling and Venous Disease

Is leg swelling connected to venous disease? It could be. In this article, we explore the link between leg swelling and vascular conditions like venous insufficiency and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Read on to learn more.

Why Do Varicose Veins Hurt?

Varicose veins are a common cosmetic complaint, but varicose veins may cause more than just aesthetic concerns. If your varicose veins hurt, you might wonder why. In this post, we explain more about varicose veins and their complications.