A woman undergoes a vascular screening of her leg

Cutting Off the Possibility of Loss: Your Top 3 Questions About Amputation and Vascular Disease

We understand that vascular disease is likely to be one of the more frightening diagnoses a patient can receive.

After all, with a weakened vascular state may come pain, depression, and — perhaps worst of all — the possibility of amputation.

Thus, if you’re left reeling with questions about whether or not you may one day face the same prospect, we’re here to ease your mind with expert answers:

#1 — How Common Is Amputation?

Simply put, when left untreated, vascular disease may indeed lead to amputation down the line.

“It is not uncommon that patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) need to undergo a lower limb amputation, with or without previous revascularization attempts,” studies show. “To increase the patient’s quality of life and reduce unnecessary suffering, amputation may be presented earlier in the process as a valuable treatment option.”

More specifically, “nearly 100,000 major leg amputations are performed every year in the United States. Of these, over half are attributable to diabetes mellitus and PAD,” the American Heart Association (AHA) reports.

Thus, it is imperative that patients receive vascular care as soon as possible if they suspect they may be living with vascular disease.

#2 — When Does A Patient Need Amputation?

As mentioned previously, it is in cases where patients have been diagnosed or treated too late in the development of their vascular disease that they may ultimately need amputation of one or both lower extremities.

According to the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), amputation is often a chosen course of action when other treatments have failed and/or when the patient is experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Lack of/reduced blood flow
  • Extensive trauma to the extremity
  • Severe frostbite or burns
  • Unhealing wounds
  • Development of a tumor
  • Extensive infection

Thankfully, early treatment and revascularization care may mitigate the aforementioned complications, in addition to certain lifestyle alterations.

#3 — How Can I Prevent Amputation?

Before you panic, let us reassure you — vascular treatment has come a long way in recent years.

“Significant advances in endovascular and surgical technology for PAD have occurred in the past decade,” a 2014 scientific review concludes. “When combined with improved screening and detection methods, the increased use of both surgical and endovascular revascularization in patients with PAD has likely contributed to the decline in [lower extremity amputation] rates.”

In other words, now more than ever, we have the technology and expertise needed to prevent amputation in vascular patients!

Here at Duval Vascular Center, we specialize in providing state-of-the-art vascular care to the patients of Northeast Florida in a comfortable outpatient setting. What’s more, we offer FREE screenings as part of the consultation process to get you answers both easily and expediently.

So, are you ready to find lasting relief from vascular disease? Then reach out to our team by calling 904-518-1398 today to get started!