Objectives: This is a retrospective study over 12 years reporting the healing rates of leg ulcers at a specialist vein unit. All patients presented with active chronic venous leg ulcers (clinical,aetiological, anatomical and pathological elements [CEAP]: C6) and had previously been advised elsewhere that their ulcers were amenable to conservative measures only.
Method: Seventy-two patients (84 limbs) were treated between March 1999 and June 2011. Patients were contacted in August 2011 by questionnaire and telephone. Of 72 patients,two were deceased and two had moved location at follow-up, so were not contactable. Fifty patients replied and 18 did not (response rate 74%), representing a mean follow-uptime of 3.1 years.
Results: Ulcer healing occurred in 85% (44 of 52 limbs) of which 52% (27) limbs were no longer confined to compression. Clinical improvement was achieved in 98% of limbs.
Conclusions: This study shows that a significant proportion of ulcers currently managed conservatively can be healed by surgical intervention.