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Delta hospital avoiding patient limb amputations

Greenville — Washington County’s Delta Regional Medical Center (DRMC) has made a commitment to limb preservation and amputation prevention.

The hospital’s Heart & Vascular Center doctors, Dr. Mike Trotter and Dr. Steve Chapman, have initiated a program that incorporates a multi-disciplinary team approach for limb preservation. Partnering with the Wound Healing Center and specialists in internal medicine, infectious disease, and cardiology, as well as general and orthopedic surgery, the cardiovascular surgeons have successfully achieved amputation prevention in over 12 patients who would otherwise have lost their legs.

Several patients had already been advised to have an amputation and one-third of the patients had experienced an amputation of the other leg in the past, making the effort at limb preservation especially worthwhile.

In the United States 60,000 major amputations are performed annually. Diabetes and atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease are the major risk factors for amputation. African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to undergo any amputation as other ethnic groups. Mississippi has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the nation and that rate continues to increase..

Previously, patients presenting severe foot pain to their health care provider may have been treated for arthritis or gout. Patients with foot ulcers or discolored toes may have only been offered an amputation. With current imaging techniques and specialty care available at DRMC, accurate diagnoses can be made and a treatment plan formulated.

Treatment plans may involve minimally invasive endovascular therapy such as balloon angioplasty and stenting, surgical bypasses, or combinations of both. Similar in concept to heart bypasses, these leg bypasses use the patient’s own veins and often actually reach into the involved foot itself.

Source: Press release

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