Finding the Leg Ulcer charity, was finding a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
In June 2014, I had a severe leg injury which resulted in over two weeks in hospital, vac therapy for weeks and a skin graft. The graft broke down and I was left with a 7 x 2cm leg ulcer above my ankle. I was told by Tissue Viability, that the only way to heal it, was by compression, so I was put in to a stocking. Being assured, it would only take a couple of months, I persevered but eighteen months later I was still in the same position!
At that point, I was desperate for a solution and went online to see what I could find. My “Eureka” moment!!
I emailed Professor Whiteley and received advice almost straight away. After speaking to my GP, I was referred to Vascular, but as the waiting list was so long, I decided to go private. I was seen by a Vascular surgeon, who performed EVLA and Foam Sclerotherapy.
The ulcer is much improved, but not gone and throughout all this process, Professor Whiteley has given support and advice. I’m now back on the NHS, awaiting a venogram, but I can’t thank your fantastic charity enough. It needs so much more support and awareness by health professionals, treating the cause of the ulceration rather than managing it.
Thank you so much for everything you do, it’s very much appreciated.
Once again thank you for all your help and advice over the last few months. For the first time in nearly a year I feel progress is being made. I shall be sending you a further donation to your Ulcer Charity.
Thanks, just talking with you and the knowledge you have passed on to me has helped enormously when discussing with the consultant. He cannot just fob me off now.
Thank you once again my mum is so pleased I can’t tell you how grateful we are.
I am pleased to report that as a direct result of finding the Leg Ulcer Charity’s website, I was informed about the options available for the treatment and cure of leg ulcers in the 21st Century.
I am fortunate to be in my employer’s group health insurance scheme and I went to my GP and asked whether there were any vascular surgeons practicing in my area and he knew of two (who turn out to be in practice together) and was happy to write out a private referral to them.
I picked up my referral letter and telephoned one of the hospitals where these two surgeons practice and obtained an appointment to see one of them the very next day! He had equipment in his consulting room to provide a duplex ultrasound scan, which he did then and there and diagnosed bilateral long saphenous vein incompetence. i.e. As well as the leg which was ulcerated, the other leg was in trouble too.
He gave me the option of having EVLT under local anaesthetic on each leg separately; or having both done at the same time under general anaesthetic.
Meanwhile, I continued to attend the Ulcer Clinic, where my leg ulcers were being dressed. At their worst, they had become infected for the second time in as many months and four ulcers had spread and merged into one giant raw patch which required a dressing about 5″x4″ to cover it. It was truly horrific to look at and very painful. Antibiotics and dressing every other day beat the infection and the pressure bandaging really did work at healing the ulcers and by the New Year, I had skin over the whole area. Very fragile skin, but skin nevertheless. That was quite a turnaround from a mere few weeks earlier when I was popping strong pain relievers and was unable to walk far enough to attend the office Christmas party.
Having got skin on my leg, and not wishing to spend the rest of my life in pressure socks with the constant threat of the whole cycle of ulcers recurring, I then went back to my insurer with the operation code provided by my consultant and my insurer authorised EVLT surgery, so then I called the consultant’s practice manager and scheduled my surgery, which took place in the middle of January. I elected to have both legs done under general anaesthetic.
My consultant was a little over-optimistic about how soon I would return to work, although that was mostly because I had some unexpected complications from the anaesthetic, which resulted in an overnight hospital stay. My consultant took the time and trouble to make a special trip to see me the following morning. I was back at work full-time within 2 weeks of having both legs done. The legs are continuing to recover and no ulcers have recurred despite my legs no longer being in pressure bandages.
Thank you once again for making the advice on your website available.
I would like to say a very big thank you to you for the advice given in the previous E mail. I saw another GP who was reluctant to refer me to see a vascular team as ” if it is found to be varicose veins then the treatment would only be compression stockings” I quoted the NICE guidelines and the answer was that essentially ” they are only guidelines” Ultimately he did refer me to see someone from vascular and am pleased to say that I saw him the other day. He looked at my leg and is pretty confident that dependant on the results of the duplex scan next week he will be able to help me with some kind of surgical procedure.
It was never really in my mind to push forward for a surgery, all I was really looking for was an investigation into why this had happened to my leg and although doctors do have experience behind them they don’t have X ray vision to be able to confirm a definitive diagnosis. Without your encouraging e mail I would not have returned to my GP and got to the point I am currently at. Thank you for your time and care.
Dear Professor Whiteley
I just wanted to thank you for your advice and the time you spend compiling it.
Little things like Vitamin C & protein that we were not advised by the NHS or the Vascular service.
Thank you so much for your very helpful answer. My son in law hasn’t had most of the treatments you mentioned.
Our next step is to ask why and hopefully start some more treatment which will lead to recovery.
Lots of people with leg ulcers are not aware of some of the treatments available to them, so I am truly grateful for your help with this.
I really appreciate your help and support with this … your the only one who seems to know what they are talking about.
Once again thanks so much
I recently contacted you for advice and information regarding my mum’s long term non healing leg ulcer. Your advice was really helpful and I was able to get mum refered for a duplex ultrasound scan and a full arterial (doppler) scan in the vascular services dept of a local hospital as a result of your information. Again, thank you very much for your time and guidance, it is very much appreciated and has been of great help already.
That’s what I thought from previous correspondence but needed to check with being told differently by my consultant.
Thank you for taking the time to reply and for the information you have provided.
Dear Leg Ulcer Charity
Thank you for your reply. Very grateful to you and your team.
Thank you. I am so grateful for your advice as it helps to ask the right questions…and hope that we get a good response.
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. The information and links you’ve provided are very helpful and I will discuss this with my mum’s doctor asap. My mum can walk (although it is painful) and therefore, hopefully, we can now request the correct scan and treatment procedure for her.
Thank you again
Thank you for this prompt response. It is immensely helpful
Thank you for your very speedy and helpful response to my enquiry.
The ulcer dried up and almost closed (c. 5x5mm) early this year but has recently opened up to a rather wet larger area.
I enclose a poor photograph.
I shall discuss your suggestions with my GP, when I see him in two weeks time.
With grateful thanks.
Thank you so much for your reply. I will follow up on this advice.
I would like to express my gratitude for your extremely helpful information! … Your assistance in providing key elements was invaluable – so Thank You for quick answers … Once again thanks from all the family.
Really pleased I found your site. Have learnt more in 1 hour then 20 years of mis information by so called specialists