The Role of Vascular Surgery in Chronic Leg Ulcers: Report From a Specialized Ulcer Clinic
Mats Bjellerup and Henrik Åkesson
Experience gained from cooperation between dermatologists and vascular surgeons in 177 patients evaluated at a joint leg ulcer clinic is reported. Patients were divided into two subgroups: (i) 86 patients with healed ulcers and (ii) 91 patients with ongoing therapy-resistant ulcers. Venous insufficiency was the most common etiology in both subgroups (87% and 55%, respectively). Of previous therapy-resistant ulcers, 71% were healed after the combined effort. The pattern of venous incompetence differed between the two subgroups; patients with isolated superficial disease constituting 68% and 26% of patients, respectively. In patients with therapy-resistant ulcers, those with isolated superficial venous insufficiency were found to have a better prognosis than those with deep venous insufficiency. Cooperation between the dermatologist and vascular surgeon is a mainstay in order to take advantage of the possibilities offered by modern vascular surgery.