Stasis ulcers are ulcers or craters that form in an area where the circulation is poor and sluggish. As well, the venous return toward the heart is bad. When defining stasis, it is in reference to the slowing or stoppage of blood flow or body fluid like the lymph. Quite often, stasis ulcers are located on the ankle.
According to WebMD, venous skin ulcers are a type of lesion that develops on the skin. It is a shallow wound that happens when leg veins do not return blood back to the heart. This is medically called venous insufficiency. Generally, the ulcers form above the ankle, on the sides of the lower leg and below the calf. Moreover, stasis ulcers heal slowly and frequently come back if preventative measures are not taken.
Stasis ulcers are caused by reduced blood circulation in the legs. To keep blood flowing toward the heart, your veins have one-way valves. But when the valves are impaired or damaged, blood is backed up and collects in the vein. In addition, fluid can leak from the veins and into nearby tissues. In result, tissues break down and ulcers form. As well, veins that are blocked can cause fluid to pool which also leads to ulcers.
There are also certain conditions and habits that can increase the risk of stasis ulcers such as:
- Kidney disease
- Not enough exercise
- Long hours of standing
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Weakening of the valves of the veins
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Deep vein thrombosis; a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the legs
One of the first signs of a stasis ulcer is the discoloration of the skin; usually purple, dark red or brown. This is caused from the blood leaking out of the vein. The skin may also become itchy, dry and thick. In addition, there may be swelling (edema) and an infection that causes a discharge.
Quite often small ulcers initially go untreated. However, the infected and painful ulcer can affect the way you walk. Moreover, as the condition advances, complex treatments are necessary. As a patient, treatment goals include management of immediate symptoms and to expedite healing.
The biggest risk of a stasis ulcer is the spread of infection from a stubborn wound. Failure to take care of the condition appropriately may result in the loss of the limb.
Before there is any treatment, a healthcare professional will perform a full medical exam. In addition, significant points of your medical history are reviewed. The professional will also check for circulatory irregularities and do a thorough check on your blood pressure.
A treatment plan is generally non-invasive and involves self-care. But treatment also depends on the severity of the stasis ulcer. Often, wearing a compression stocking which will help prevent blood from collecting in the calves and feet. Wound dressings can also accelerate healing. The physician or nurse can help you decide which type of dressing is best for your wound. There are also other types of treatment that are successful.
Atlanta Vascular and Vein Center
If you suspect that you may have stasis ulcers, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a qualified physician. Dr. Amish Tilara at Atlanta Vascular and Vein Center offers advanced experience and specialized care in skin conditions such as stasis ulcers. Moreover, Dr. Tilara is an expert vascular and interventional radiologist.
Atlanta Vascular and Vein Center is located in Lawrenceville, GA. And for convenience, they serve the surrounding areas of Dacula, Duluth, Buford, Grayson, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville and Suwanee.
Please note that this article is not intended to replace any kind of medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about stasis ulcer procedures or recovery, consult a specialist immediately.
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