One of the most important steps in determining whether amputation or other treatments are appropriate is to get a picture, or angiogram of the blockage in your leg. Contrast angiography is a medical procedure that takes pictures of your blood vessels, which allows the physician to observe any possible blockage(s). This can help your physician determine if an alternative treatment to amputation is appropriate for you.
Why Minimizing Amputation Is Important
It has been reported that many lower limb amputations resulting from vascular disease related complications could have been prevented. In fact, in one retrospective study, 67% of advanced PAD patients in the U.S. had primary amputation as their initial treatment.16 Many of these amputations could have been prevented with treatments or other forms of intervention.
Risks Associated With Amputation
Amputation is a serious procedure that has several risks associated with it. Patients with limb loss experience significantly lower health status, high rates of mortality, and an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Studies estimate a five-year mortality rate for patients who have had an amputation to be between 50% and 74%.17-18
Alternatives To Amputation
There are several alternatives to amputation that you should be aware of. Visit our treatment page to learn more about minimally invasive procedures that can help open blocked arteries and restore blood flow. Every case is different, and only a physician can provide you with medical guidance appropriate to your condition. Ask your physician if they are familiar with these types of minimally invasive procedures and if you’re a good candidate for them.