Preventing foot amputation - by Renza S
Today we're sharing Renza's blog post about the prevention of amputations. Whilst that word has a depressing ring to it this is actually a very positive post. Renza says:
Last night, I heard the most amazing talk about diabetes-related foot complications. (There are words I never thought I’d write.)
Because actually, the talk was about PREVENTION of amputations. Now, I’m not talking about prevention in the sense of ‘Check your feet daily, see a HCP regularly for a foot check or if you identify problems, and wear sensible shoes’, advice I have always taken selectively. (Happy to check my feet, happy to have a HCP check my feet. But I just bought these boots…so I guess two out of three ain’t bad.) This talk was about prevention of major amputations, thanks to different surgical techniques that can save limbs.
A/Professor Ramon Varcoe, a vascular surgeon from Prince of Wales Hospital in NSW, is my new hero. I listened to his talk absolutely enthralled and amazed. Let me count the ways I adored what he said last night:
- He didn’t show gory pictures. (Thank you. Thank you. Thank.You.)
- He acknowledged that diabetes is a really difficult condition to live with.
- Furthermore, he acknowledged that those who have needed diabetes-related amputations face a really tough future.
- He explained in terms this pinhead could understand the techniques he uses to save legs from needing to be amputated. In VERY basic terms it is a technique similar to the surgery used to open arteries in the heart… a fine wire is inserted into the artery and a ‘balloon’ is used to open the artery. (He concluded his explanation by saying ‘Bob’s your uncle; we can ‘revascularise’ the limb’, making it sound so simple that anyone could do it in their kitchen on a rainy afternoon. For the record, maybe don’t do this in the kitchen on a rainy – or sunny – afternoon.)
- One way he framed his thinking was to say ‘Think of this as a ‘foot attack, the same as a heart attack.
Read the rest of the post here and this is a blog well worth subscribing to.