Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Venous Ulcers

Venous ulcers are open sores in the lower leg that are caused by damaged veins, pooling blood and the vein's inability to circulate waste products back through the body. When vein problems cause your legs to swell, even minor scrapes and injuries can become venous ulcers.

Risk factors for venous ulcers

  • Congenital valve defects
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Family history
  • History of a deep vein thrombosis
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time

Meet the Vascular Surgery Team

Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a nationally recognized destination for those who require highly specialized cardiovascular care.