Long Island Heart & Vascular
Cardiovascular Disease Specialists & Endovascular Specialists located in Westbury, South Richmond Hill, and Ridgewood, NY
Vascular wounds, also known as venous ulcers, can take weeks, months, even years to heal. The board-certified specialists at Long Island Heart & Vascular in Westbury and Ridgewood, New York, are experts at treating vascular wounds as well as the underlying issues causing the condition. If you’re dealing with a slow-to-heal wound on your leg, typically above the ankle, schedule a visit at Long Island Heart & Vascular for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Call the office or book your appointment online.
Vascular Wound Care Q & A
What is a venous ulcer?
Venous ulcers are open sores that occur when the veins in your legs do not push blood back up to your heart as well as they should. This is called venous insufficiency. When blood backs up in your veins, increased pressure and excess fluid can build up and prevent nutrients and oxygen from reaching the affected tissue. This causes tissue damage and can result in the formation of a venous ulcer. These sores most often occur on the leg above the ankle.
How can I tell it’s a venous ulcer?
Because venous ulcers occur as a consequence of venous insufficiency, early symptoms to watch for include:
- Swelling and sensation of heaviness in the affected leg
- Cramping pain that may worsen as the condition progresses
- Dark red, purple or brown skin that’s hardened, which is often a sign that blood is pooling
- Itching and tingling in the legs
- Varicose veins
Characteristics of a venous ulcer include:
- A shallow sore with a red base that is sometimes covered by yellow tissue
- Uneven borders
- Surrounding skin that may be shiny, tight, warm or hot, and discolored
These open sores are often easily infected and may also develop a foul odor and drain pus.
Who is at risk for venous ulcers?
Issues and habits that increase your risk of developing venous ulcers include:
- Varicose veins
- History of blood clots in the legs
- Blockage of the lymph vessels and fluid buildup in the legs
- Family history of venous insufficiency
- Regularly sitting or standing for long periods of time
What is the treatment for venous ulcers?
Treatment includes aggressive wound care that may include frequent visits for dressing changes and other therapies designed to speed healing of the ulcer.
Effective treatment also requires relief of the pressure causing the venous insufficiency. You can help accomplish this at home by wearing compression stockings as directed, elevating your legs above your heart whenever possible, and walking daily as instructed.
Your Long Island Heart & Vascular specialist may also recommend further treatment to resolve the underlying issue, such as a procedure to eliminate varicose veins.
Schedule your visit today by calling the office or booking your appointment online.