Leg UP: Prevent Amputation Aims to Reduce the 100,000 Annual Amputations from Diabetes and Vascular Disease in U.S.

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Leg UP Gives People with Diabetes and Vascular Disease Three Questions to Ask Their Doctor; Up to 55% of People Who Have First Amputation Will Require Second One Within 2‐3 Years

Gangrene on the foot of a patient with diabetes via Medical News Today

Up to 55% of people will require a second amputation in two to three years.

Dr. Hardeep S. Ahluwalia, Bay Area vascular surgeon and founder of California Vein and Vascular Centers, launches Leg UP: Prevent Amputation, a disease awareness program for people who have severe foot wounds that won’t heal, placing them at a high risk for toe, foot and leg amputation.

The Leg UP program is helping empower people to ask the right three questions early in the process when it is still possible to prevent a toe, foot or leg amputation. “Nearly half of the individuals who have an amputation due to vascular disease will die within five years,” said Hardeep S. Ahluwalia, MD. “This is higher than the five-year mortality rates for breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. It doesn’t have to be this way. We want to give people the information to speak with their doctors and consider all their medical options.”

People who have been told they need an amputation should ask their doctors the three PAD questions:

1) Have you taken Pictures of the inside of my veins and arteries? If the answer is no, ask for imaging tests to give the doctor a better idea of what’s happening inside your veins and arteries. If the doctor won’t offer this, find another vascular surgeon to speak with.

2) Can I avoid amputation by having Another procedure? There are two procedures that could restore blood flow – an endovascular treatment or bypass surgery. If the doctor doesn’t perform these or says the procedures won’t help, get a second opinion.

3) How do I know if you’re the right Doctor for me? The doctor performing the procedure should be a board-certified vascular surgeon or interventional cardiologist with fellowship training in the treatment of peripheral artery disease.

The Leg UP: Prevent Amputation campaign offers a Web site with additional resources including a downloadable patient’s guide for doctor appointments. Visit http://cvvcenters.com/leg-up/ or follow them on Facebook (@LegUPNow), Twitter (@LegUPNow) and Instagram (@LegUPNow).

ABOUT VASCULAR DISEASE
A type of vascular disease that can affect people who have diabetes and/or smoke is peripheral arterial disease. PAD is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. When plaque builds up in the body’s arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue and other substances in the blood. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. This condition may affect the arteries in the legs, as well those that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys and stomach. When the condition worsens, it can progress to critical limb ischemia, a serious condition where blood does not reach the legs and feet and can cause ulcers and gangrene, leading to amputation.

ABOUT LEG UP: PREVENT AMPUTATION
Leg UP began in 2016 when Dr. Hardeep S. Ahluwalia, founder of the California Vein and Vascular Centers recognized that smokers and people with diabetic foot ulcers were little informed about the alternatives to amputation. Dr. Ahluwalia aims to eventually reach people with diabetes in and outside of the United States through social media, community events and partnerships with advocacy, professional and business organizations.

ABOUT DR. HARDEEP AHLUWALIA
Hardeep S. Ahluwalia, MD, FACS Dr. Ahluwalia is fellowship trained in vascular and endovascular surgery from Duke University and underwent additional fellowship training in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. Dr. Ahluwalia is a Board Certified Vascular Surgeon whose specialties include, but are not limited to: vascular and endovascular surgery, peripheral artery disease (PAD), thoracic and abdominal aneurysm disease, carotid disease, deep venous thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins and venous disease.

Statistics via the Amputee Coalition

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