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Treatments for Leg Ulcers

The treatment of most leg ulcers is now fairly simple and can often be performed under local anaesthetic.

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

The specialists at The Whiteley Clinic are experts at assessing patients and identifying those who can be cured and those who cannot. With our specialist venous duplex ultrasound technicians and the introduction of the new intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) system, we are now able to investigate and cure leg ulcers in people who have previously been told they are incurable.

Successful treatment of leg ulcers consists of following the Whiteley Protocol™. For the majority of patients, treatment consists of:

Treatment consists of:

  • Assessment by a Specialist Whiteley Clinic trained Doctor
  • Special tests – usually Duplex Ultrasound of the veins and sometimes the arteries. Often a Photoplethysmography scan (PPG) is required. Occasionally other tests such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), venography, CT or MRI scanning is necessary
  • Explanation of the results and discussion of possible treatment options with the patient and any relatives or friends the patient may wish to bring
  • Endovenous treatment under local anaesthetic if possible (approx 60 – 80% of patients)
  • Non-surgical options including manual lymphatic drainage, Bioxyquell™ oxygen peroxide therapy combined with compression as required

Factors that should never be regarded as ‘treatment’ for leg ulcers:

  • Patients with leg ulcers being condemned to dressings and compression bandages/stockings without assessment by a specialist doctor and having a minimum of a venous duplex ultrasound scan performed by a specialist technologist who is able to perform an extended scan of all of the veins of the leg (usually taking a minimum of 30 minutes). The exception to this is if the patient has decided that they do not want treatment or are immobile, have poor ankle movement, are very unwell for any other reason or has a very short life expectancy
  • Patients with skin changes at the ankle being given creams (particularly steroid creams) before venous causes have been excluded by a venous duplex ultrasound scan performed by a specialist technologist as above and the results confirmed by a specialist doctor who is used to treating leg ulcers regularly such as at The Whiteley Clinic
  • Patients with varicose veins being told that it is a cosmetic problem only and to “wait until there is a more significant problem before having anything done” as 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 being 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 clinical guidelines in July 2013 stating that anyone with symptomatic varicose veins, a healed leg ulcer or active leg ulcer should be referred to a vascular service, such as that provided by The Whiteley Clinic.