Treatment options for venous leg ulcers: Effectiveness of vascular surgery, bioengineered tissue, and electrical stimulation

Gaurav Thakral, Javier La Fontaine, Paul Kim, Bijan Najafi, Adam Nichols, Lawrence A. Lavery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the peer-reviewed literature that compares advanced venous leg ulcer therapies to standard of care with compression dressings. METHODS: A MEDLINE search for venous ulcer treatment with electrical stimulation, surgical vein correction, and bioengineered tissues was conducted. Randomized clinical trials comparing advanced treatment with standard of care using compression dressing were included. A total of 7 bioengineered tissue, 4 surgical treatment, and 4 electrical stimulation randomized clinical trials were identified. RESULTS: Compared with nonstandard treatments, electrical stimulation demonstrated improved wound healing, fewer adverse events, and shorter duration of healing. Healing rates at the end of the study were greater for surgical intervention, followed by similar outcomes for electrical stimulation and bioengineered tissues. Studies involving bioengineered tissues and surgical venous ablation demonstrated inconsistent/inconclusive results. CONCLUSIONS: Utilization of electrical stimulation in venous ulcer management has not been fully explored. Further studies of dosing electrical stimulation therapy may reveal therapeutic and preventive benefits for managing venous ulcers not yet elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-172
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Skin and Wound Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 27 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioengineered tissue
  • Edema
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Surgery
  • Venous leg ulcer
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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