Can varicose vein treatment help leg ulcers?

70% of patients with leg ulcers have venous incompetence as the main underlying cause and a large proportion of those will also have varicose veins.

I was the first author of a large multi-centre trial (The ESCHAR study) which was published in the Lancet in 2004. At that stage open surgery was the primary treatment for venous incompetence and we showed that this significantly reduced leg ulcer recurrence rate.

I was also a principal investigator for one of the centres contributing to the EVRA study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018. This confirmed that non-invasive treatments for venous incompetence significantly improved leg ulcer healing rate.

Damaged skin is almost certainly a precursor to leg ulceration and it is almost certainly possible to reduce the incidence of leg ulceration by treating the underlying varicose veins in such cases.

Read the full paper in full here.

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