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How often do varicose veins cause chronic leg sores?

I've had a sore on my leg for at least four months now, and it just will not heal. It oozes and aches, and starts bleeding if I even bump it a little bit. I have varicose veins which I've never paid much attention to, but now I'm starting to think they're related to the sore. Do varicose veins cause long-term sores on the legs? Will removing the varicose veins make the sore go away? Or can I just treat the sore itself?


Doctors Answers (4)

Lower leg sores can be caused by chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. The best way to deal with this bleeding sore that will not heal is to have it evaluated by a physician with ultrasound of the leg veins and any other testing that maybe indicated after examining the sores. If venous reflux is found by ultrasound evaluation then treating the underlying vein problems is required to help heal the sores. Just treating the sores yourself is not adequate and since they have not healed naturally in four months, it is time to have them evaluated by ultrasound. Treatment of venous reflux and varicose veins is required if these sores are venous ulcers.

Venous obstruction and/or venous insufficiency (failure of the one-way valves in the veins) of the legs can cause chronic leg ulcers. These most commonly are at the lower calf or ankle and the skin surrounding the ulcer often is thick and brown in color. A venous ulcer will heal more quickly and is more likely to remain healed with treatment of the venous insufficiency or obstruction. You need to see an experienced venous specialist for evaluation.

There is about an 80-90 percent chance that your sore is due to venous insufficiency. I strongly suggest that you seek a consultation for the veins.

It is possible for someone with varicose veins and the underlying venous reflux to develop venous ulcers. You should be evaluated by a board certified surgeon who is vascular trained and specializes in treating these problems. If your ulcer (sore) is venous in origin, an ultrasound exam will show the causative venous reflux. Venous ulcers do not start on the surface. They begin deeper because of back flow and fluid in these tissues. They are very difficult to heal unless the cause is removed. These laser procedures are done in the office, local anesthetic, walk in /walk out. Very little downtime. The surgeon can also remove the surface varicose veins at the same time. Your ulcer should start to heal immediately.

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