Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Hyperbaric Oxygen diving tank for Leg Ulcers - but only some

A report in the Daily Mail today shows the benefit of hyperbaric oxygen - or the "Diving Tank" - for non-healing leg wounds - or "leg ulcers" as they call them ( ).

Hyperbaric oxygen from a "Diving Tank" is very useful for such chronic wounds - but unfortunately the article doesn't make clear that they are talking about a very small number of leg ulcers.

Of the 500,000 people in the UK who keep getting leg ulcers, the vast majority (some 80-90%) are due to Venous Problems - Venous Leg Ulcers.

In these people, the "Diving Tank" has no benefit. The best way to treat these is to perform local anaesthetic surgery to the veins - not only healing the leg ulcers but stopping them from comming back again.

In our latest published research on leg ulcers, we cured 84% of leg ulcers by local anaesthetic vein surgery.

Phlebology. 2012 Jul 25. [Epub ahead of print]
Healing rates following venous surgery for chronic venous leg ulcers in an independent specialist vein unit.
Thomas CA, Holdstock JM, Harrison CC, Price BA, Whiteley MS.

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.
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-up time of 3.1 years.
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.
This study shows that a significant proportion of ulcers currently managed conservatively can be healed by surgical intervention.

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