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Venous Ulcer

The physicians at UPMC’s Division of Vascular Surgery treat venous ulcers (also known as nonhealing wounds) with the most advanced medical techniques available.

Venous Ulcer Treatment 

After an evaluation of your veins, we recommend a treatment plan based on your needs.



Unna boots
  • An Unna boot is a moist gauze that is applied around the lower leg, from the region of the ulcer to just below the knee.
  • This gauze then hardens to form a snug boot on the leg.
  • The support from the boot helps improve blood flow in the veins and heal the ulcer.
Transparent dressings
  • A transparent dressing is a clear, plastic-like film that is applied over the wound.
  • A support stocking is worn over the dressing to help hold it in place and improve circulation in the extremity.
Hydrocolloid dressings
  • A hydrocolloid dressing is applied over the wound to promote healing.
  • It also helps to remove any nonliving tissue from the wound (debridement).
Growth factors
  • These investigational medications are applied to the wound in the hope of promoting the growth of new tissue.
  • Compression of the leg is vital to healing venous wounds.
  • The pressure from the compression dressing counteracts the pressure from the veins of the leg and allows skin to heal.
  • Compression stockings are most commonly used for this treatment.
Surgery or vein ablation
  • Sometimes minor surgery (wound debridement) or vein ablation (a nonsurgical technique that closes a vein) is used to remove any nonliving tissue that keeps a wound from healing properly.


Request an appointment today.

Contact the UPMC Heart & Vascular Institute

Request an appointment online, call 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484), or email us.

Refer a patient: 1-866-884-8579

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