Can a leg ulcer be permanently removed through varicose vein surgery?

I have a ulcer on my leg. Can this vein be repaired permanently? Every so often my leg develops an ulcer near the same spot.

The information provided by medical professionals in the Q&A is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individualized medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health care provider.


Replied on 7/3/2012

By: Advanced Vein Center  |  Bruce R. Hoyle, M.D.
Orange, CA

The risk of DVT with sclerotherapy of spider veins is exceedingly low. To avoid pigmentation issues I would separate the treatments by at least 2 weeks.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: New Image Vein and Medical Aesthetics  |  Richard Davis, MD
Lima, OH

Without performing an exam the ability to answer such a question isextremely difficult and the answer may be inadequate. Normally we see leg ulcers, particularly in the ankle area, that are accompanied by "stasis
changes." Such changes are typically due to advanced untreated venous insufficiency. The skin develops a thickened brown texture called lipo-dermato sclerosis. These changes are irreversible. Often our goal in
such cases is to keep the wounds that tend to occur from getting worse. Laser closure of veins causing high venous pressure in the abnormal areas may reduce the progression of the disease and allow the ulcer to heal. It will not cure the affected skin. Ulcer recurrence is very likely.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: VeinCare Centers of Tennessee  |  Stephen F. Daugherty, M.D.,F.A.C.S.
Clarksville, TN

Many chronic or recurring lower leg ulcers are due to venous insufficiency and/or obstruction of veins in the leg and/or pelvis. A thorough venous color duplex exam of the leg and the abdominal/pelvic veins is important to evaluate the reasons for the ulcer if clinical exam suggests that it may be of venous origin. Treatments for the venous insufficiency or for the venous outflow obstruction often make a very big difference in healing the ulcer and in preventing recurrence.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: North Country Thoracic & Vascular  |  Craig Nachbauer, MD
Plattsburgh, NY

If there is a vein near the ulcer and it has reflux, it may be the reason for the ulcer. If you close or remove that vein, the ulcer should heal and not reoccur.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: Lubbock Vein Specialists  |  Sandra D. Dickerson, MD, FACS
Lubbock, TX

If you have a venous stasis ulcer (an ulcer that is caused by a refluxing vein) then treatment of that vein can help heal the ulcer and keep it healed for a significant period of time. There is no "permanent" cure for venous stasis disease.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: NYU Vein Center -
  |  Lowell S. Kabnick, M.D., FACS, FACPh
Morristown, NJ

There are different types of treatment available to you that would lessen the chances of recurrence.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: Veins etc. at Comprehensive Cardiovascular Consultants  |  Raffi K. Krikorian, M.D., FACC, RVT
St. Louis, MO

Yes, we always look for long term cure of ulcers. One should look for additional vein issues if ulcers return after successful ablation.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: Cosmetic Vein Centers of Texas  |  Mark E. Skellenger, M.D.
Houston, TX

Yes, if the ultrasound exam reveals venous reflux in the superficial veins.

Replied on 7/3/2012

By: General Vascular Surgery Group  |  Michael D. Ingegno, M.D.
Robert O’Neil Gingery, M.D.
Lamont D. Paxton, M.D.

San Ramon, CA

Possibly, depending on the source of the ulcer. If it is venous in nature and you have a vein problem that is fixable, it may be a recent recurrence.

Replied on 6/1/2012

By: Vanish Vein and Laser Center  |  Dr. John Landi, FACS, RPVI, RPhS
Medical Director, Diplomate Am. Board of Phlebology

Naples, FL

Venous ulcerations are most commonly due to reflux of the greater, lesser saphenous veins or both and then due to perforator reflux. You need a thorough venous reflux exam to find the source/sources of the reflux and then treat them appropriately. Although there is no permanent cure, closure of all sources of reflux and of incompetent feeding veins to the ulcer carries a high success rate.

Replied on 5/30/2012

By: Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute  |  Robert Cutchen MD, RVS, RVT, RPVI
Diplomate American Board of Phlebology

Albuquerque, NM

Leg ulcers that are related to varicose veins can be healed with vein treatment. However, keeping them closed permanently requires regular follow-up and care as the years go by. Compression stockings will be an added benefit in healing the ulcer and keeping it closed. Patients with a history of ulcer should be in knee-high compression for life.

Replied on 5/16/2012

By: Austin Vein Specialists  |  Joel Gotvald, MD, FACS, RPVI
Austin, TX

Possibly. If this is is a venous stasis ulcer, it often heals permanently if the underlying venous disorder (called venous reflux) is treated and cured by a vein specialist. You should also be evaluated for possible arterial circulation problems, which is best evaluated through an examination by a vascular surgeon.

Replied on 5/15/2012

By: Intermountain Vein Center  |  
Provo, UT

Having the varicose veins treated that feed that ulcer will allow faster and better healing of that ulcer. If there are veins that are left untreated feeding that ulcer, it will have a difficult time healing fully. Ultrasound is recommended and varicose vein treatment would be the next step.

Replied on 5/14/2012

By: The Sheen Vein Institute  |  Vidal T. Sheen, M.D., RVT, RPVI
St. Louis , MO

Your venous ulcer can be fixed permanently. However, in order to do this, all of the abnormal veins within the involved leg need to be addressed. Treating just one vein in the affected leg does not usually fix an ulcer permanently. In all of the patients that I have treated for venous ulcers, I find that they all tend to have a high concentration of abnormal veins in the region around the ulcer in addition to other larger vein issues throughout the remainder of the leg. This is why properly treating your ulcer does take some time.

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