Venous ulcers, one of the worst complications of vein disease, affect about 1% of all Americans. This leads to significant disability for many patients. In an effort to improve the treatment of venous ulcers, and to prevent them from occurring in the first place, new guidelines were recently published.
With the goal of reducing venous ulcers by 50% within the next decade, the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum published a comprehensive set of guidelines for the management of existing ulcers and for the prevention of new ulcers.
Traditionally, patients with venous ulcers have been treated with leg compression and rest. The new guidelines call for the referral of all venous ulcer patients for vein treatment in addition to the application of compression. The authors believe this will speed the healing of the ulcer and help prevent the ulcer from recurring.
The guidelines also recommend that all patients with significant skin discoloration of the lower legs, often an indication of serious vein disease, be referred for evaluation and treatment of underlying vein disease. The authors believe early treatment will prevent many ulcers from ever happening in the first place.
At Evansville Regional Vein Center we have the ability to diagnose and treat the underlying vein disease that causes venous ulcers. We recommend that varicose veins be treated as early as possible to prevent the serious complications of venous disease—including ulcers.
Clovis E. Manley, MD
Evansville Regional Vein Center