WHAT IS A CHRONIC VENOUS WOUND?
A chronic venous wound, also called a chronic venous ulcer or a stasis leg ulcer, is a type of wound that occurs due to a problem with the veins transporting blood in the way they should. When this occurs, show-healing ulcers can form, usually in the lower portion of the legs and ankles. Often, these wounds require advanced wound care to help the healing process and to prevent recurring ulcers.
WHAT CAUSES CHRONIC VENOUS WOUNDS?
Venous skin ulcers are caused by abnormal blood flow through the legs, which is called venous insufficiency. The veins normally supply blood down through the feet and then back up toward the heart. When venous insufficiency occurs, the valves that keep the blood flowing upward are damaged. This allows blood to pool up in the vein, often leading to leakage into surrounding tissues of the leg, resulting in tissue damage and ulcers.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A CHRONIC VENOUS WOUND?
Any of the following symptoms of a chronic venous wound may warrant a visit to your doctor or a wound care facility, such as the wound center at Princeton Wound Care Center, for a thorough examination of the wound and possible treatment options:
- Changes in the appearance or feeling in the lower legs/ankles
- Darker color (purple or red)
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR CHRONIC VENOUS WOUNDS?
Chronic venous wounds can occur in anyone who suffers from poor blood circulation in the legs or venous insufficiency, however, the following factors may increase your risk of developing chronic venous ulcers:
- Being overweight / obese
- Having low physical activity levels
- Having blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis)
- Standing for prolonged hours on a daily basis
HOW IS A CHRONIC VENOUS WOUND TREATED?
At Princeton Wound Care, we offer a number of advanced treatment options for chronic venous wounds, including our state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The following wound care treatments may be recommended, based on the type and complexity of your wound:
- Vascular lab workup
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
- Skin grafting
- Compression therapy