Venous Ulcer Treatment in Fort Worth, TX

A venous ulcer is a shallow skin wound that develops when the veins don’t return blood back toward the heart as they normally would. (This is venous insufficiency). These ulcers usually develop on the sides of the lower leg, above the ankle and below the calf. Venous skin ulcers, also called Stasis leg ulcers, heal slowly and often come back without preventative treatment.

Veins have one-way valves that keep blood circulating to the heart. In venous insufficiency, the valves are damaged, and blood backs up and pools in the vein. The increased pressure in the vein causes inflammation.  As the inflammation spreads out from the vein, it damages the tissue which can lead to ulceration.

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In the area where the blood is seeping out of the vein, the skin turns dark red or purple. Skin may also become thick, dry and itchy. Untreated, an ulcer may form and become painful. Legs may become swollen and sore. An infected wound may cause an odor, and puss may drain from the wound. The area around the wound also may be more tender and red. It’s important to call us when you first see signs of a venous ulcer, as we may be able to help prevent the ulcer from forming. If it is already formed, seek treatment immediately; smaller and newer ulcers heal faster.

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Your doctor will ask questions about your health and will examine affected areas. They may also perform ultrasound testing. All can be done within the comfort of the office. Your doctor may use other tests to check for problems related to venous skin ulcers or to recheck the ulcer if it does not heal within a few weeks after starting treatment.

There are a number of reasons you may be more susceptible to developing venous ulcers. Clinical data indicate that this condition is more common among people who:

  • Are older. One in 50 adults over the age of 80 develops this condition.
  • Are diabetic.
  • Have had multiple pregnancies
  • Are female.
  • Are clinically obese.
  • Have had a previous leg injury.
  • Have phlebitis (vein inflammation).
  • Smoke.
  • Have an inactive lifestyle. 

Having varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency also creates a higher risk of developing venous ulcers, especially if those conditions are not attended to in the proper timeframe. Varicose veins are the bulging, ropy veins that form due to the accumulation of blood in them. Chronic venous insufficiency is the broader condition in which blood does not move efficiently out of the lower extremities, causing pooling to happen. These conditions involve swelling of affected veins, which can press against the skin, resulting in sores. 

The best time to act on venous ulcers is when you first begin to notice the signs that one may be forming. This may include slight discoloration or a bruised appearance over a varicose vein. It is not wise to attempt to treat a venous ulcer on your own. However, until you can see your doctor for a full examination, you may do the following:

  • Clean the wound as well as the tissue around it a few times a day.
  • Use antibacterial soap and apply antibacterial ointment to the wound after cleansing the skin.
  • Apply a dressing like a gauze pad over the ulcer to keep it free of debris.
  • Wear compression stockings to help move blood out of the legs.

Do not put off seeing the doctor for your venous ulcer. Clinical treatment may vary significantly from the remedies you can perform at home.

In many situations, it isn't necessary to undergo comprehensive treatment for a venous ulcer. Our priority is to prevent infection and promote expedited healing as much as possible. In addition to debriding the wound, if needed and applying appropriate topical medication, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for you to take to prevent infection systemically. Your doctor may also prescribe advanced wound care management such as the use of an antiseptic or antimicrobial. Depending on the severity of the ulcer, it may be necessary to consider skin grafting for optimal repair. This is one of many reasons why it is advantageous to receive prompt care for a small venous ulcer. 

In addition to treating the ulcer itself, your vein specialist can discuss the value of appropriate vein treatment. This is relevant for cases in which the venous ulcer is caused by varicose veins. In these instances, treating the vein can significantly reduce the chances of the venous ulcer returning at a later time.

One way to prevent venous ulcers is to be aware of your vein health. If you notice the signs of varicose veins and venous insufficiency, contact a vein specialist to discuss what you can do to keep your condition from worsening. Your doctor can also discuss how to spot the earliest signs of venous ulcers and how to determine when it is time to receive treatment for unhealthy veins. 

An active, healthy lifestyle is also a path toward prevention, not only for venous ulcers but for the conditions that can contribute to them. Taking a thirty-minute walk every day can be beneficial, as can standing up and moving around throughout the day if you tend to sit for long periods. Your doctor may also suggest that you take an aspirin a day to thin your blood and that you elevate your legs at some point every day.

Patient Testimonials

"Great experience today! No wait time to be seen and spider vein treatment went smoothly. Layne made sure I was 100% satisfied before ending my treatment. I’m glad to know I have a new vein care facility!"

- Elizabeth H.

"Dr. Oswalt is very caring and knowledgeable! His staff all care for, and respect me. I have had wonderful results with all my treatments from them. I love going to them. Thank you!!"

- Beverly H.

Consultation Visit

We have many years of experience and are able to identify the cause of vein incompetence in all of our patients. Our providers perform the physical examinations and then correlate symptoms, physical examination findings, and the ultrasound analysis to make the proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. During your initial consultation, we will review your history, symptoms, and exam to determine the next steps for your evaluation. Call us today at 817-536-9600

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