Memorial Northeast Hospital has set its sights on stopping a growing trend by using expert, collaborative care to prevent amputations and save lives.
Amputation surgeries performed in Texas increased 15 percent from 2007 to 2012, according to data published by the Amputee Coalition. More than 86 percent of Texans who underwent amputation surgery in 2012 were 45 years or older, the age group most affected by diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which play a role in 54 percent of all amputation surgeries.
A fast-growing age group susceptible to the complications that accounted for the increase in amputations was a key factor in a counter move from the Memorial Hermann Northeast Wound Care Program.
“We have a large population in the Lake Houston area suffering from diabetes,” said Don Sprague, M.D., Medical Director of Memorial Hermann Northeast Wound Care. “We recognized the need for an expert limb salvage program accessible in the area.”
To combat this trend, Memorial Hermann Northeast recently created a comprehensive, multidisciplinary process to preserve limbs and avoid amputations of extremities threatened by complications from disease or trauma.
“Preventing amputations is a collaborative effort with life-changing and life-saving results for patients” said Kousta Foteh, M.D., a vascular surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Northeast. “Rather than referring the patient to specialist and sub-specialists, our experts are on-site to make decisions that are extremely time-sensitive.”
Typically, a vascular surgeon identifies the problem wound and then works with the patient’s primary care physician, podiatrist and wound care physician to develop the most effective and least traumatic plan of care to heal the wound and save the limb. If surgical intervention is required, affiliated surgeons will clean out arteries in the affected areas through endovascular surgery, followed by treatment in one of two hyperbaric chambers at Memorial Hermann Northeast.
“Loss of limb is a devastating event in a patient’s life,” said Matthew Sheedy, D.P.M., a podiatrist and surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Northeast. “Recovering, if possible, can be extremely challenging physically and emotionally. Our goal is to prevent amputations by working closely with each other and intervening as early as we can.”
For more information about amputation prevention at Memorial Hermann Northeast, call 281.540.6322.