On Thursday the 28th of September, Professor Whiteley gave a guest lecture at the Lindsay Leg Club annual conference in Worcester. The title of the talk was “Latest challenges and barriers relating to wound management of the lower limb”.
Professor Whiteley explained that most venous leg ulcers can now be cured under local anaesthetic. By understanding the venous system, patients with venous leg ulcers can now expect to be cured.
This is because the treatment protocols, such as the Whiteley Protocol, identify the underlying cause of the leg ulcer. This underlying cause is identified using venous duplex ultrasound. The underlying cause is almost always “hidden varicose veins” or even obvious varicose veins!
Using local anaesthetic endovenous laser, TRLOP and ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, these veins can almost always be cured. Once they have been cured, the ulcer heals in an average of 18 weeks.
Patients with venous leg ulcers who can walk, are usually suitable for this sort of treatment. Unfortunately patients who cannot walk do not get any benefit and are not suitable for this treatment. The reason for this is that although it is possible to fix the underlying vein problem, if the patient is not able to walk then the veins cannot be stimulated to pump properly.
In some patients, the deep veins have been damaged and these are not able to be treated by these local anaesthetic techniques. However, many of these patients can now be treated by opening the damaged veins with stents. Therefore, even if patients with venous leg ulcers have been told that they have got damaged deep veins, there are now treatments for many of these patients.
Understanding the venous cause of most leg ulcers.
Mark explained that the key to treating leg ulcers successfully is to understand the underlying venous system and how to fix it.
He explained that the book he had written, “Understanding Venous Reflux: the cause of varicose veins and venous leg ulcers” was a simple introduction for both patients and healthcare professionals to how vein problems because varicose veins and/or leg ulcers.
He showed the different patterns of vein disease that cause leg ulcers, and showed how most of them can now be tackled by endovenous surgery.
Therefore the keys to curing venous leg ulcers is to understand the underlying vein problem, having a venous duplex ultrasound scan by a specialist venous clinic and then having endovenous surgery to the underlying veins in suitable cases. This will result in a cure in 85% of patients with venous leg ulcers who are able to walk.
If you are concerned about your vein health call Whiteley Clinics on 0330 058 1850 to book a consultation with one of our experts!