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From Ojai, California, USA:

My son-in-law's mother is in the hospital and they have performed several amputations on her leg and want to do more, due to her diabetes. Is this "piece-at-a-time" method of surgery a normal treatment? Why couldn't they take off a significant portion so they wouldn't have to do several consecutive surgeries? I can't seem to get a straight answer from the hospital.


Surgeons take different approaches to patient care. Depending on the situation, one may decide to try to salvage or save a limb or another may decide that an above or below knee amputation would be better as the healing is quicker and there is less time in the hospital.

Many of my patients have opted for the more extensive amputation as they receive their prosthesis quicker and are back moving in less time. I would discuss this with your physician and ask whether the circulation is OK. If not, then the "piece-at-a-time" method is not the optimal treatment.


Original posting 5 Jan 2004
Posted to Complications and Surgery


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