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Modern technology in vascular surgery is key in salvaging limbs in diabetic foot: Experts

Diabetic patients should avoid barefoot walking, proper well-fitted footwear should be worn, preventing cracks/injury to the foot helps in most patients, he said.

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Hyderabad: The modern technology in vascular surgery is key in salvaging limbs in the diabetic foot but the number of vascular surgeons in India is very low, experts at the conference conducted to create awareness among the doctors regarding the advanced treatments in vascular and Endovascular surgery and wound management by the KIMS hospitals in the city said on Sunday.

Foot care is most important in diabetes and even a small injury leads to closure of vessels, and infection/gangrene, the experts said 80 percent of rural diabetic patients needed amputation of limbs, and only in 20 percent of the cases, doctors can salvage the limbs.

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However, in major cities like Hyderabad, 80 percent of the patients are getting relief with their limbs to get salvaged and only 20 percent of the patients have to be amputated. Diabetes causes a dangerous combination of nerve damage and impaired blood circulation that contribute to ineffective wound healing in your lower extremities, the experts said at the conference.

Addressing after inaugurating the conference conducted by the KIMS institute of vascular and endovascular surgery in association with the vascular foundation here, KIMS Managing Director Dr. Bhaskar Rao, said,” this conference was conducted to create awareness among general physicians and diabetologists to learn about the advanced wound care options available and to help better management of diabetic foot ulcers even in remote areas, also help the doctors to better care for the patient and also know when the vascular intervention is needed and help the patient with the best treatments available. This will help to reduce the number of amputations.”

Speaking on this, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Department Head Dr. Narendranath Meda said, “Prevention and patient education is the key in the diabetic foot. Regular annual foot care examination and self-examination of the foot daily by the patients help in preventing the ulcer and identifying any problem in the early stage.

Diabetic patients should avoid barefoot walking, proper well-fitted footwear should be worn, preventing cracks/injury to the foot helps in most patients, he said.

“Many people who have diabetes tend to be negligent when their feet are injured and as a result, the lesion does not heal and the nerves are gradually clogged. The infection/gangrene starts without the knowledge of the defectors and many people are becoming disabled because they do not take these little precautions,” says Dr. Ranjith Kumar.

“Diabetic foot is one of the most common and severe complications of diabetes. Minor injuries to the lower parts of the feet will not be healed because of the damage to the nerves and blockage of blood circulation due to diabetes. As a result, the fingers or leg have to be removed. In some cases, gangrene/infection may develop if not treated urgently. Foot ulcers account for 85 percent of the causes of amputation of the leg in people with diabetes,” said Dr. Rahul Laxminaryanan a Vascular surgeon at the hospital.

“High blood sugar levels can affect the functioning of the muscles and nerves of the feet. It is very difficult to save damaged legs due to diabetes. If we can save the leg, it will have the potential to reduce infections in the future. These procedures have to be done with care as the vessels in diabetics have extensive disease, calcification, and occlusion and are small in calibre (2 to 1.5mm in diameter).

Vascular surgery practices in India have been around for 3-4 years. Wounds can heal 100 percent if they can restore circulation in the blood vessels. Proper dressing and using good footwear are also essential for wound healing,” said Dr. Priya Bharathi, podiatric surgeon.

The event was attended by nearly 150 doctors from various districts in Telangana.

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