Venous Ulcer Specialist

Vascular Associates of San Diego

Vein Specialists & Vascular Specialists located in San Diego County, La Mesa, CA

A venous ulcer is a long-lasting wound that can be painful and disabling, and could even invite infection and lead to gangrene. If you have a venous ulcer, the experienced vascular surgeons at Vascular Associates of San Diego in La Mesa, California, and serving all of San Diego County, can help. Their team of wound care experts can help your venous ulcer heal and address your condition's underlying cause. Find out more by calling their office today, or you can book an appointment online.

Venous Ulcer Q & A

What is a venous ulcer?

Venous ulcers are a circulatory problem that cause open wounds to develop on your legs. They occur when diseases like chronic venous insufficiency reduce blood flow in your legs so severely that the tissues start to break down.

Several factors can contribute to the development of a venous ulcer. First, fluid buildup (edema) from leaking veins damages the tissues. Poor circulation deprives your legs of oxygen and healing cells and weakens your immune system, allowing toxins to accumulate.

Eventually, small wounds appear, or a minor injury that fails to heal properly develops into an open sore. These wounds are treatment-resistant and can become large, deep, disabling venous ulcers.

What symptoms do venous ulcers cause?

Venous ulcers are identifiable by their appearance and their tendency to remain unhealed.

Symptoms of conditions like chronic venous insufficiency that lead to the development of venous ulcers include:

  • Swollen legs or ankles
  • Leg cramps
  • Throbbing sensation
  • Achy or heavy feeling
  • Itchiness
  • Thickening of your skin
  • Skin discoloration

CVI can also cause leg pain that worsens with prolonged sitting or standing but improves if you raise your legs. These symptoms often remain after the venous ulcer appears.

Why would I have a venous ulcer?

In addition to poor blood flow in your legs, other factors can increase your risk of developing a leg ulcer. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Injuries
  • Family history
  • Standing for long periods
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Having abnormal veins

Having diabetes is also a significant risk factor for the development of a venous ulcer. This is partly because diabetes affects your circulation and immune system function, and partly because it causes diabetic peripheral neuropathy. 

Diabetic neuropathy affects your ability to feel cuts or injuries in your feet. These wounds then develop into ulcers.

How is a venous ulcer treated?

The Vascular Associates of San Diego team has extensive expertise in treating venous ulcers. First, they need to apply compression to your leg, and ensure the wound is clean, free of dead tissue, and has a specialized dressing to encourage healing.

To improve your circulation and help the venous ulcer to heal, they also need to treat the diseased vein causing the problem. Leg ulcers can take months or sometimes years to heal, but treating the problem vein produces faster and more effective results. 

It also reduces your risk of developing an infection, which, if severe, could lead to amputation.

For expert assessment and treatment of your venous ulcer, call Vascular Associates of San Diego or book an appointment online today.