["Difficult" venous ulcers of the legs]

S Mordente, G Pacca, A Guarino, M Benincasa, E Leo
Chirurgia Italiana 2001, 53 (2): 225-9
The aim of the study was to analyze the diagnostic and surgical criteria in cases of "critical" venous leg ulcers. This report describes the management of 200 patients with trophic lesions of the lower limbs. Patients with venous leg ulcers were identified with the aid of ultrasonography and echocolor Doppler. Among these patients, according to the chronic evolution of the lesions, we identified all those with critical venous leg ulcers. The management of the lesions involved both medical and fairly aggressive surgical treatment with the use of general anaesthesia and deep surgical toilette of the ulcer. In the cases with poor epithelialisation we adopted oxygen therapy and skin grafts using the "mesh graft" technique. Critical venous leg ulcers were identified in 23 patients (19%). After surgical treatment, we observed complete epithelialisation of the lesion only in 5 cases (21.7%). In 13 patients (56.6%) the use of oxygen therapy was necessary and epithelialisation occurred on postoperative day 12. Skin grafts were used in 5 cases (21.7%). Only one recurrence was observed one year after operation in an area adjacent to the site of the graft. The "golden goal" of critical venous leg ulcer management is to establish a correct aetiological diagnosis, distinguishing between venous leg ulcers and other trophic lesions of the lower limbs. The medical and surgical treatment described in this report reduce healing time and the social costs of the disease, without any significant complications for the patient.


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