Venous ulcers affect about 1% of Americans and are more common among women and older adults. Vascular surgeons Steven Heird, MD, FACS, and David Winand, MD, FACS, diagnose and treat venous ulcers at Advanced Vein & Laser Center locations in York and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have leg swelling, discoloration, or sores, call or book an appointment online today.
Sometimes called stasis ulcers, venous ulcers are open sores that appear on your legs, typically just above the ankle. These ulcers occur when the veins in your legs don’t push blood back up to your heart as effectively as they should.
Veins contain valves that actively push deoxygenated blood back to your heart. In locations like your legs, these valves must work against gravity to return blood to your heart. When these valves get damaged or worn down over time, blood can flow backward and collect in the veins.
In addition to venous ulcers, insufficient blood flow in the veins can cause a host of associated problems. Dr. Heird and Dr. Winand treat the full spectrum of venous disorders, including:
All of these problems can cause leg cramps, pain, and swelling, as well as serious complications such as blood clots or stroke.
Venous ulcers usually appear as shallow, red sores with unevenly shaped borders. The skin around the ulcers may be shiny, tight, or warm to the touch. The skin may also appear yellow or otherwise discolored.
Common symptoms of venous ulcers include:
The best way to find out if the sores on your legs are related to a vascular condition is to schedule an appointment at Advanced Vein & Laser Center.
First, Dr. Heird or Dr. Winand performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history. They may also take an on-site ultrasound imaging test to evaluate the condition of your blood vessels.
Once they determine the underlying cause of your venous ulcers, they develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. Treatment may begin with lifestyle changes to promote healthy circulation, such as:
They may also recommend you wear compression socks to prevent blood from pooling in your legs. If you have varicose veins, treatment may include:
Venous ulcers shouldn’t be ignored. Call Advanced Vein & Laser Center or book an appointment online today.