Amputation Prevention & Wound Care

Doctor doing leg treatment for patient

In this article:

About Amputation Prevention & Wound Care

Amputation is the surgical removal of some or all of a body part, such as part of an arm or leg. Severe complications from some vascular conditions can, in extreme cases, lead to amputation.

Poor blood flow is one of the most common reasons for amputation; in these cases, amputation is used to help prevent gangrene, which can spread to the bones or other parts of the body. Vascular intervention can improve blood flow to help avoid amputation and resolve pain or other symptoms.

Lifestyle changes, medication, or minimally invasive endovascular procedures can help improve blood flow and prevent more drastic measures. Amputation is always the last option, and our expert physicians at Vascular & Interventional Specialists will do everything we can to avoid amputation and get you back to normal life.


Warning signs of amputation risk

The following signs and symptoms might indicate you should seek treatment to help avoid amputation. You should also pay attention to signs and symptoms of other vascular conditions that could increase your amputation risk:

  • Poor circulation in the extremities

  • Pain or discomfort in the feet or legs, especially when walking

  • Foot ulcers

  • Foot or leg wounds that heal slowly or not at all

  • Foot pain or numbness

  • Discoloration in the foot or toes

  • Swelling in the feet or legs

  • Overly shiny, smooth, or dry skin on the legs and feet

Risk factors or comorbidities that could increase the risk of amputation may include:


Preventing amputation and wound infection

Amputation is often the last resort to treat other conditions, so it’s essential to seek treatment for any vascular conditions or related complications before they become severe. Likewise, it’s important to care for wounds or infections before they become severe or spread to other parts of the body.

Taking preventative steps to care for your overall vascular health can significantly lower the risk of amputation:

  • Stop smoking or using tobacco

  • Get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet

  • Manage high blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels (especially for individuals with early signs of diabetes)

  • Take care to avoid wounds in the extremities

  • Use proper foot care and footwear to prevent blisters and wounds

  • Seek treatment for wounds or foot ulcers to speed healing and reduce pain


Amputation prevention and wound care procedures

Treating the underlying vascular condition(s) that can cause extreme complications is the first and best way to prevent amputation. If you have a diagnosis for a vascular condition or are experiencing symptoms, learn more about the conditions we treat.

We also provide several non-surgical or minimally invasive treatments to help avoid amputation and care for wounds:

  • Medication – Certain medications can help manage infected wounds and help prevent further spread of the infection.

  • Debridement – Dead or infected tissue is removed from a wound to help prevent the infection from entering the bloodstream and allow new tissue to form.

  • Revascularization – A balloon is inserted via catheter into obstructed blood vessels to reduce blockage and increase blood flow to the affected region.

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