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A venous stasis ulcer, also known as a venous insufficiency ulcer, means that there is an impairment or lack of venous blood flow to an area of the skin. Venous ulcers develop mostly in the lower legs, between the knee and the ankle, and can be very painful. Due to the lack of circulation, which provides the essential nutrients for the skin to survive, the tissues begin to discolor, devitalize and die. This causes an opening in the skin called ulceration.
Some things can increase your risk of venous stasis ulcers. These include: deep vein thrombosis, obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity and work that requires hours of standing.
Call Vein Care Specialists at the first sign of a venous skin ulcer, because you may be able to prevent the ulcer from forming. If an ulcer has formed, get treatment right away. Ulcers can be painful and you may experience swollen and achy legs. If the wound becomes infected, the infection may cause an odor, and pus may drain from the wound.
You will first have an ultrasound evaluation of the area. If the ulcer does not heal with improved blood circulation methods, surgery may be necessary. Surgery can reduce venous reflux, hasten healing and prevent recurrence. Surgical options include endovenous ablation or stenting, and removal of incompetent superficial veins by EVLT, microphlecetomy, ligation and stripping, or ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. Your surgeon will walk you through the options and help create a plan that is best suited for you.