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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 1998 Sep;16(3):238-44.

Influence of a specialised leg ulcer service and venous surgery on the outcome of venous leg ulcers.

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Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire, U.K.



To assess the influence of a vascular-led community service on the outcome of chronic leg ulcers.


Before and after study.


Healing and recurrence were compared between ulcerated limbs (n = 149) from a random sample of 200 patients treated in the community and consecutive limbs (n = 200) from 180 patients treated in specialised clinics. In these clinics, vascular disease was routinely identified with venous duplex and ankle-brachial pressure index. Surgery was offered if superficial vein reflux alone was detected. Compression bandaging was applied to limbs with ABPI > 0.85. Healed limbs were treated with compression hosiery.


After the clinics were introduced, the 12 and 24-week healing rates increased from 12 and 29 per cent to 53 and 68 per cent respectively (p < 0.01), and the 6 and 12 month recurrence rates decreased from 43 and 54 per cent to 21 and 23 per cent respectively (p < 0.01). Superficial venous surgery reduced recurrence at 1 year to 9 per cent.


Outcome of leg ulcers is improved in a vascular-led community service. Routine surgical correction, in cases of reflux limited to the superficial system, may further reduce the chance of recurrence.

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