It is no secret that we live in a region where diabetes is rampant. Statewide, the statistics are stunning. According to the American Diabetes Association, one out of every nine Arizonans – nearly 500,000 people – are affected by the disease.
One of the most devastating consequences of the disease is amputation, and with more than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occurring in people with diabetes, it is a common complication. And it doesn’t stop there with the loss of a limb; mortality rates increase with amputation.
The goal of TMC’s Limb Salvage Team is to “save a limb, save a life.” They work to keep these patients functional. TMC’s Save A Limb program is a multidisciplinary approach to patients with advanced vascular disease or Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.). A team of vascular and podiatric surgeons, nurses, technicians and registered dieticians coordinate their care to save limbs and prevent amputations. “The surgeons on this team are considered experts in this area,” explained Dr. Matthew Namanny, a vascular surgeon with Saguaro Surgical. “If patients are suffering from severe P.A.D. or wounds, or if these patients are identified by physicians and nurses in hospitals and clinics, we want them sent here so that we can do everything possible to prevent that amputation. That’s what we want to be known for.”
The team uses the most advanced methods available to treat patients, like rapid endovascular interventions, synthetic skin substitutes and prophylactic elective surgery to eliminate biomechanical foot abnormalities.
“We have a prevalent Native American population here, and a lot of our population is at high risk for P.A.D. because of obesity, coronary artery disease, and hypertension. Having the Save A Limb program available at a community hospital is such a huge benefit to patients in Southern Arizona as well as the rest of the state. Our team helps hundreds of patients a year, but we know there are hundreds more who could benefit, ” Dr. Namanny said.
For more information about TMC’s Save A Limb program, please click here.