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Treatment For Leg Ulcers

This section opens with an overview of assessing and treating leg ulcers. Links in the dedicated menu block on this page offer in depth background.

Many people suffer needlessly from constant dressings and leg binding, when a cure may be available. The treatment of most leg ulcers is now fairly simple and can often be performed under local anaesthetic.

Before and after leg ulcer treatment

A recent publication from The Whiteley Clinic illustrated this well, in the peer reviewed, international medical journal ‘Phlebology’. We have cured 85% of patients presenting with leg ulcers over the last 12 years, using minimally invasive treatments.

This does not mean treatment follows a set pattern. Every patient is unique and before decisions are made, they will be assessed by one of The Whitley Clinic’s specialists. There may be cases where a cure is not possible and for all patients, the best path to successful treatment can be identified at an early stage.

Expert investigation using the best equipment and technicians should also be available. As with most conditions, leg ulcer treatment is effective when underlying causes are understood. The Whiteley Clinic use our own, specialist ultrasound technicians. Often more experienced than consultants at this task and part of the reason leg ulcers can be cured in people who have been told they are incurable.

Successful treatment of leg ulcers also comes from following a well tested approach. In our case the Whiteley Protocol™, an internationally recognised system for investigation and optimal treatment. This allows for variation to suit personal needs, although the support offered to the majority of patients is well established:

Leg Ulcer Treatment Procedure

  • Every patient will be assessed by a Whiteley Clinic trained Doctor, a specialist in leg ulcer treatment.
  • Recommended tests follow. Often Duplex Ultrasound of veins and arteries, which may be accompanied by a Photoplethysmography scan (PPG). Further tests, such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), venography, CT or MRI scanning can at times be helpful.
  • Your specialist will then discuss the results with you in depth, along with the best treatment options. Relatives, or friends are welcome to accompany you if you wish.
  • Endovenous treatment is suitable for a number of patients, to treat the underlying cause of your leg ulcers. In a high proportion of cases, this can be carried out under local anaesthetic.
  • Non-surgical options can accompany endovenous treatment, or bring solutions themselves. They include manual lymphatic drainage and Bioxyquell, a new oxygen peroxide therapy. This kills bacteria and microbes on the surface of the leg ulcer, which often prevent them from healing.

There are other procedures which can assist in curing leg ulcers, although simply providing a list does not meet a prime need, to treat the individual. What we can do is eliminate what we would not consider treatment aimed at a cure.

What Is Not Leg Ulcer Treatment

There may be cases where a patient has decided they do not want treatment, are immobile, have poor ankle movement, are very unwell, or have a short life expectancy. We understand these reasons but still see many patients who have been offered unsuitable support:

  • Patients with leg ulcers should not be condemned to dressings and compression bandages without assessment by a specialist, or without a Venous Duplex Ultrasound scan performed by a skilled technologist. They can carry out an extended scan of all the veins of the leg, often in about 30 minutes.
  • Patients with skin changes at the ankle should not be given creams (particularly steroid creams) before venous causes have been excluded. An in depth scan is called for and assessment by a specialist doctor, who is used to treating leg ulcers.
  • Patients with varicose veins should not be told this a cosmetic problem, that they should “wait until there is a more significant problem before having anything done”. There is clear evidence of at least 3% to 6% of all patients with varicose veins going on to get leg ulcers, if left untreated.
  • Patients with skin changes at the ankle, or varicose veins should not be given long term support stockings, without a cause being found and the possibility of a cure being offered.

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued clear clinical guidelines in July 2013, Anyone with symptomatic varicose veins, a healed leg ulcer or active leg ulcer should be referred for treatment at a specialist vascular clinic.

We hope you have found this information useful and if you have leg ulcers, we do hope you seek specialist treatment. A debilitating, often long term problem can become a thing of the past.

For more information on leg ulcer treatment, or to book an assessment:
Phone 01483 477180