Leg ulcer treatment.
J Vasc Surg. 2009 Mar;49(3):804-8
Authors: Coleridge-Smith PD
Venous ulcers continue to cause problems for patients and health care systems. These are painful and unpleasant for the patient and expensive for health care providers to treat. This brief review highlights effective methods of management. There is level 1 evidence of the efficacy of compression (bandaging or stockings) in healing ulcers as well as maintaining healing. Patients with superficial saphenous reflux, with or without perforating and deep vein incompetence, benefit from superficial venous surgery. This does not speed ulcer healing but is effective at preventing recurrence after healing with compression. Minimally invasive methods of managing incompetence of superficial saphenous trunks, including endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, and foam sclerotherapy are probably also effective in treating patients with venous leg ulcers. Perforating vein ligation is commonly combined with superficial venous surgery for leg ulcer patients, but no systematic data are available to define the role of this treatment. Some centers use deep vein reconstruction to restore competence to deep vein valves. Insufficient data have been published to allow any general recommendation to be made for this treatment. A limited number of drugs have efficacy in promoting leg ulcer healing. They may be used in combination with compression treatment in patients with ulcers refractory to other methods of management. No particular ulcer dressing has been shown to be effective in speeding ulcer healing.
PMID: 19268785 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]