Venous Ulcers

Jenna Wishnew, MD, FACS

General Surgeon located in Richardson, TX

Venous stasis ulcer is usually caused by chronic swelling, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency. This occurs due to the presence of malfunctioning valves causing pressure in the veins to increase. This venous hypertension causes blood pooling in the lower extremities, therefore, stretching the vein walls, and allowing proteins in the blood and blood cells to escape into the subcutaneous tissues, resulting in swelling and eventual breakdown of skin.


- Weak, scarred or blocked veins causing high pressure in the veins of the lower leg



- Age > 65 due to reduced subcutaneous fat and capillary blood flow

- Being female

- Being tall

- Family history of venous insufficiency

- Presence of varicose veins

- History of blood clots in the legs or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

- Blockage of the lymph vessels causing fluid buildup

- Obesity

- Pregnancy

- Smoking

- Sitting or standing for long periods of time i.e. At work

- Leg fracture or other serious injuries i.e. Burns or muscle damage



- Keeping wound clean and dry

- Wound dressings

- Compression stockings, socks or wraps

- Unna boots

- Leg elevation

- Activity i.e. Walking or exercising improving blood flow

- Medications as directed

- Surgical debridement (Hyperlinked)

- Chemical debridement (Hyperlinked)

- Skin substitute graft (Hyperlinked)

- Skin graft (Hyperlinked)

- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (Hyperlinked)

- Surgical procedures i.e. vein bypass, radiofrequency ablation