Health Questions

What is Diabetic Limb Salvage?

Diabetic limb salvage
Written by Ella Stephen

By definition, diabetic limb salvage is a surgical procedure that is performed to omit cancer and to stop amputation. The surgery is more so designed not just to preserve the look of the affected area but in addition to keep the function in an affected limb. It is commonly done by surgeons for curing bone tumors and also bone sarcomas. Furthermore, it is performed for curing soft tissue sarcomas that is known to affect the extremities. Diabetic limb salvage has always been an effective alternative to having amputation that stops slow-spreading cancers from one’s limb to the other parts of one’s body.

Due to medical improvements in the surgical techniques, amputation is not just the only option when it comes to curing a patient with cancer. In addition to curing medical patients who have chronic and acute limb wounds or those who need diabetic limb amputation, diabetic limb salvage is known to help patients that are experiencing chronic degenerative joint as well as bone diseases, which include rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the surgical techniques?

There are 2 surgical methods used to cure diabetic limb surgery. The first one is the soft tissue sarcoma. During the procedure of soft tissue sarcoma, the goals of the surgeons are to be able to treat 80 percent of soft tissue sarcomas that are affecting the patient’s limbs. It is done to remove the tissues, the lymph nodes, and the tumors that are diagnosed as cancer affected. It is also designed to removes at least 2.54 cm of the healthy tissues on every side of the tumor to make sure that the cancer will be totally removed.  The second technique is done for bone tumors. This method is used to eradicate the malignant lesion as well as a portion of healthy tissue in the cancer-affected limbs. It is done in order to cure the bone’s low-grade tumors. When it comes to bones with high-grade tumors, the doctors will have to remove the muscle, the bone and other tissues that are already affected by the tumor.

Some surgeons may even advise radiation as well as chemotherapy before or after the operation. This is important especially if the patient’s soft tissue sarcoma has already spread to your lung. The chemotherapy or radiation treatments will be needed to shrink the tumor in the lung before the doctors try to surgically remove the lung tumor.

Diabetic limb salvage

What are the aftercare solutions for diabetic limb salvage?

Within five to ten days after your surgery, you will be advised to stay in the hospital so nurses can check the sensation as well as the blood flow in your affected extremity. The nurses will even watch for symptoms just in case you have developed pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, or deep vein thrombosis. Antibiotics will also be needed within the first forty-eight hours following the operation. You may even be required to wear anti-embolism stockings for you to prevent any blood clots.

As you gradually recover from the surgery, your surgeons will also advise you to take mild narcotics or anti-inflammatory medications. These medicines can help relieve pain after your operation.

During diabetic limb salvage, the doctors do extensive surgical incisions. That is why the patients must have to undergo extensive rehabilitation process. Many patients are also advised to begin having muscle-strengthening exercises, depending on the kind of reconstruction performed as well as the amount of bone removed in the surgery. Most exercises or therapy happen for about twelve months.

Patients are also advised to always follow the aftercare treatments or procedures in order to achieve full recovery from the surgery. Remember that complication can still happen despite the successful operation. For your peace of mind, rely only on the best surgeons and physicians in the industry.

About the author

Ella Stephen