Our mission at University Vascular Associates (UVA) is to treat vascular disease. Unfortunately, sometimes this means amputation as one of the most serious complications of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the lower extremities is the need to carefully and surgically remove part or most of the affected leg. How does one go from poor blood flow to the leg to requiring amputation?
Well, the step between relates to a formation of a wound. If an individual has a leg with poor blood supply and develops a wound, the underlying vascular disease (usually complicated by diabetes) makes healing of the wound difficult and slow. Left unchecked, the wound can become infected and spread to occupy a greater portion of the leg. If the infection expands enough, it can become a systemic (total body) problem putting the life of the patient at risk. Therefore, removal of the entire or part of leg is what is necessary to save a life.
Fortunately, peripheral vascular disease is usually treatable and the surgeons at UVA have been using office-based minimally invasive approaches to treat patients with serious disease. If you are over 50, smoke, have diabetes or coronary artery disease, you are at risk for PAD. Don’t go unchecked and run the risk of loss of limb or life—call or write UVA today for a consultation.