Who Is a Candidate for Limb Salvage?

Oct 04, 2023
Who Is a Candidate for Limb Salvage?
Your legs have a tough task in returning blood against gravity to your heart and lungs. When you have a health condition that affects peripheral blood vessels, you might be in danger of losing your legs to amputation. Limb salvage may be an option.

Your arms and legs have a tough task in returning blood against gravity to your heart and lungs. Even supplying blood to these limbs may be difficult if you have fatty plaques adhering to artery walls. Compromises to blood flow can make your legs tired, ulcerous, and slow to heal. 

While plenty of treatments can help, sometimes these efforts aren’t enough in the face of the damage that’s already done and may still be developing. When you reach this point, you may be a candidate for limb salvage

An integrative, multi-surgery approach to blood flow problems, limb salvage requires a skilled and experienced cardiovascular surgeon. 

In Miami, visit Advanced Vascular Cardiac & Veins. Led by interventional cardiologist Enrique Hernandez, MD, our team develops a limb salvage treatment plan that restores healthy blood flow through your legs, targeting the trouble spots to your unique situation. We can help you avoid leg amputations. 

Challenges for blood flow

Blood supply in the peripheries — your arms and legs — faces challenges because of location, as far from the heart as it gets within your body. Any injury or condition that affects arteries or veins can interrupt normal blood flow. Without this, tissue in your limbs begins to suffer. 

The conditions that most often cause serious blood flow interruptions include: 

  • Accidents or traumatic injuries
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Nerve conditions
  • Vascular diseases

Often, you may still be able to rehabilitate blood flow with conservative treatments and lifestyle changes. 

When symptoms don’t improve and conditions progress, your options become limited. In the past, amputation was the most common alternative. Today, limb salvage may be a better answer that could restore limb health. 

Limb salvage techniques

Unlike some surgical procedures, limb salvage isn’t a single technique. Each surgery becomes a custom procedure designed for you and your body’s needs. Some of the methods that Dr. Hernandez uses are: 

  • Bone grafts and replacements
  • Bypassing or repairing blood vessels
  • Expandable prosthetics
  • Metal implants
  • Muscle replacement
  • Regenerative medicine techniques that promote new tissue growth

You may require one or more of these methods, combined to correct your impaired blood flow condition. 

Who is a candidate for limb salvage? 

Age is irrelevant for limb salvage surgery. It’s suitable for both adults and children who have serious impediments to peripheral blood flow. Some limb salvage techniques are ineffective on children while their bones are still growing, but there are usually workarounds and other ways to approach blood flow repair. 

Find out more about limb salvage and how it may help you by consulting with Dr. Hernandez and his team at Advanced Vascular Cardiac & Veins. You can book your visit online or by phone. There’s no reason to wait. Schedule your appointment today.