A lot of patients are worried about developing leg ulcers in later life - and that is not surprising. In my work as a vascular surgeon, I have treated thousands of patients with leg ulcers and seen at first hand the problems they cause.
Varicose veins are often thought to be "only" a cosmetic problem. However research over the last decade or so has shown this to be wrong. Some 20% of patients with varicose veins will go on to get leg ulcers if left untreated. Others will get swollen ankles, skin damage, discomfort, phlebitis or rarely bleeding.
Leg ulcers are a horrible condition that can not only cause pain and suffering to the person with the condition but also affects everybody around them. Patients with leg ulcers often have to give up work, become housebound and can change from independent people to patients requiring constant help and assistance from family, friends, carers and healthcare professionals.
A Nice Result for Patient's Varicose Veins and Leg Ulcers - But How Will the NHS and Private Insurers Cope?
Varicose veins and "hidden varicose veins" (medically called chronic venous incompetence) affect an awful lot of people. Research suggests 15 to 20% of the adult population suffer with visible varicose veins and around the same number suffer with hidden varicose veins.
Anyone can suffer from thread or varicose veins- nearly half of women and a quarter of men will experience symptoms in their lives. The difference between the sexes, though, is that women seek out treatment. Men typically don't: or at least not until it's too late.
So what is the standard treatment for leg ulcers in the UK? Unfortunately it has still not moved on from the dressing and compression treatment so popular 100 years ago.
A "spray-on skin" developed by scientists could greatly improve recovery from chronic leg ulcers, research suggests. The