Every year, doctors in the United States perform 185,000 amputations, and more than half are due to vascular disease. Unfortunately, amputation has become a standard treatment for advanced vascular problems, but Hartaj Virk, MD, at North Jersey Vascular Center has a different approach: He puts extensive effort into restoring blood flow and saving your limb, giving you a functioning foot and leg along with the chance for a longer life. If a doctor says you need an amputation or you have vascular disease, call the office in Clifton, New Jersey, to explore amputation prevention measures.
The vascular conditions that most often result in limb amputation are:
Atherosclerosis or a buildup of cholesterol plaque causes PAD. As the plaque enlarges and blocks blood flow, your lower leg and foot don’t receive enough oxygen. This leads to a serious condition called critical limb ischemia, which causes tissue damage, wounds that don’t heal, gangrene, and a limb at high risk for amputation.
Foot ulcers are one of the most common complications of diabetic neuropathy. These dangerous wounds fail to heal because high blood sugar damages small blood vessels in your foot, preventing nutrients and oxygen from reaching the wound. Ulcers enlarge as the skin breaks down, leading to an infection and tissue death.
The primary symptom of PAD is leg pain when you walk. As critical limb ischemia develops, you also have pain when you’re resting. In addition to non-healing leg wounds and foot ulcers, the symptoms of PAD and diabetic neuropathy include:
Signs of an infection include red skin around the wound, the presence of pus, and a foul-smelling discharge.
The team at North Jersey Vascular Center determines the severity of your wound and creates an aggressive treatment plan that gives you the best chance for healing. Your amputation prevention treatment plan may include:
If you’re facing amputation due to PAD, your doctor at North Jersey Vascular Center performs endovascular surgery. They thread a thin catheter through the artery to the area where it has narrowed due to atherosclerosis.
Your doctor may remove or destroy the plaque, a procedure called an atherectomy. Or they may perform an angioplasty, briefly inflating a balloon that pushes the plaque against the vessel wall and reopens the artery. In some cases, a specialized stent is put in place to keep the artery open.
If you need exceptional care for a leg and foot wound, diabetes foot care, treatment for PAD, or amputation prevention services, call North Jersey Vascular Center or schedule an appointment online.