By Tom Tran PA-C, MPAs, NCCPA Surgery Board Certified –
Venous ulcers affect more than 6 to 7 million people in the United States. They account for more than 70% of all limb ulcers, affect women more than men, and increase with age. Venous ulcers are primarily in the lower legs and most people have them as long as 10 years. It is a chronic, debilitating disease that costs millions of dollars to treat and care for yearly.
Correct Diagnosis is Crucial
Recognizing venous ulcers is the first step in the diagnosis. There are many causes of ulcers in the legs and being able to identify the correct kind is crucial in having the right treatment. Many primary care physicians are not trained in chronic wound care management and advanced treatment. There are many causes of wounds in the legs such as venous, arterial, diabetic, infectious, cancerous, and traumatic wounds. Therefore, recognition is the most important aspect in wound care management.
What are Vein Ulcers?
Vein ulcers are wounds that are caused by an underlying venous pathology called Venous Insufficiency. Venous insufficiency is caused by genetics, standing a lot, sitting a lot, obesity, trauma to the legs, pregnancy, and history of blood clots. It damages the underlying vein and causes a back up of blood flow back to the heart and thus, builds up with proteins in the legs and later develops swelling, skin color changes, and eventually ulcers.
Advanced Treatment Techniques
The traditional and current primary care provider wound care management of these vein ulcers is wet to dry dressings. However, this makes it worse because vein ulcers weep and are a very wet wound. Today, we use advanced techniques to include silver dressings, collagenous dressings, super absorbent sponges, and compression therapy. Compression therapy such as the Unna Boot is the key to healing vein ulcers along with infection control, frequent dressing changes, and super absorbent materials. Combined with vein treatment of lasers and injections to close off the dysfunctional veins with patient compliance to wearing compression and dressing changes, there is a high success rate of healing these debilitating chronic ulcers. Thus, preventing amputations and the formation of new ulcers.
Treating the wrong wound with the wrong materials is a cause for further progression of the ulcer and can lead to increased time for the ulcers to not heal, high costs, and even amputations. It is crucial to go early to a Vein specialist who specializes in veins and especially vein ulcers utilizing advanced wound care techniques and state of the art vein treatment.
To learn more, call Comprehensive Vein Center in The Villages at 352-259-5960, or visit our website at www.thecvc.net.