The weekly Leg Ulcer Clinic
Every Tuesday from 9am until 12pm there is a leg ulcer clinic run by Dr. Gabrielle McMullin assisted by a nursing colleague.
New patients are assessed and a thorough history is taken. A clinical examination is performed and then appropriate tests are arranged to determine what is stopping the wound from healing.
If treatment for arterial disease is required or if other surgery is needed then this is organised and can be performed at either South Sydney Angiography (in St. George Private hospital), the Sutherland Hospital or St. George Hospital.
Many patients are then treated with compression bandaging and this is applied initially at South Sydney Vascular Centre.
The bandages will be checked for problems between 2 and 7 days later and if required the treatment will be changed.
If the bandages are well tolerated then community nursing services will be contacted to take over compression bandaging on a regular basis. Attendance at the clinic will then be about once a month to assess progress. Some patients prefer to attend the clinic on a weekly basis to have the bandages changed.
A venous ulcer takes approximately 3 months to heal once effective compression bandaging has been instituted.
Once an ulcer heals then compression stockings are usually required to prevent any recurrence of ulceration and these will be supplied at the clinic. They are hard to get on and hard to get off and assistance from family or friends may be required or nursing staff organised.
If this is not possible then intermittent compression pumps can be used but they are only suitable for people who do little walking and spend most of the day sitting. To be effective they should be used for about 6 hours a day. They are therefore particularly useful for people in nursing homes.
If a total contact plaster cast is required for a neuropathic ulcer then this will be organised with the highly experienced physiotherapy team at Sutherland Hospital.