Amputation Prevention Techniques

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Doctor Examining Senior Female Patient

Peripheral artery disease also known as peripheral vascular disease affects about 8 million Americans each year.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 3 diabetics over the age of 50.  This disorder occurs in the arteries of the circulatory system.  Over a period of time, your peripheral arteries can develop plaque buildup caused by fat and cholesterol deposits.  This plaque can decrease blood flow to the body’s tissues.  This will in turn restrict circulation to the limbs and organs.  Without adequate blood flow, the kidneys, legs, arms and feet suffer damage.  If left untreated, the tissue can die leading to gangrene which can become infected and require amputation.  Amputation prevention has came a long way over the past several years and many people have been helped in keeping their limbs with these new and developing techniques.

Angioplasty and Stenting

Angioplasty with or without vascular stenting is a minimally invasive procedure performed to improve blood flow in the body’s arteries and veins.  This is a great amputation prevention technique and has proven to be very successful.

In an angioplasty procedure, imaging techniques are used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed.

During angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open. This amputation prevention technique goes a step further than just angioplasty.

Atherectomy

Atherectomy is a non-surgical procedure to open blocked coronary arteries or vein grafts by using a device on the end of a catheter to cut or shave away atherosclerotic plaque.  This is another amputation prevention technique that has a great success rate.

As mentioned, this is a good amputation prevention technique.  However, antherectomy is not for everyone.  Atherectomy should not be performed when the plaque is located where blood vessels divide into branches.  It should also not be performed when plaque is angular or inside an angle of a blood vessel. Patients with weak vessel walls, on ulcerated or calcium-hardened lesions, or on blockages through which a guide wire won’t pass would also not be good candidates for atherectomy.

Most Amputation Prevention Techniques are Minimally Invasive

Most of the techniques used for amputation prevention are minimally invasive.  You are given a local anesthesia and are awake during the entire procedure.  In most cases, if you are scheduled for one of the above mentioned procedures, you will be able to go home the same day.

My name is Mary Ann Quinn and I experienced blocked arteries in my leg several years ago.  The pain that I felt was excruciating.  My leg was very purple in color.  I was afraid that they would have to amputate but then I was referred to www.californiaheartclinic.com.  It was there that I met Dr. Ansari.  Dr. Ansari has performed thousands of complex peripheral interventions and has prevented countless leg amputations.  He is truly a specialist and pioneer in amputation prevention and he helped save my leg.