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Epidemic of unneeded amputations

es, the rate is less than 40 percent.--In a five-year study in medical journal Diabetes Care, 40 percent of diabetics and 29.8 percent of non-diabetics had a second amputation to the same or opposite limb at an average of 16.2 and 12.3 months, respectively, after the first amputation.

In advanced stages of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), common in diabetics, plaque blocks arteries, resulting in rest pain, development of foot ulcers and onset of limb loss. The CLiRpath procedure, using a "cool" excimer laser and catheter system developed by Spectranetics Corp. (NASDAQ: SPNC), vaporizes arterial blockages, restores blood flow, and this surgery promotes wound healing, often enabling patients to leave the hospital the next day. CLiRpath has been the subject of rigorous clinical trials, with limb salvage observed in 95 percent of patients surviving to six months(1). The procedure is now available in more than 300 hospitals across the U.S.

Amputation decisions greatly impact lives of many people, like Michael Sevante, of Houma, La. In 2002, Sevante had recurring leg cramps and was diagnosed with PVD. He developed a non-healing infection and underwent an amputation below his left knee. As a result, Sevante had to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day with a walker and a prosthetic limb.

Six months after his first amputation, he experienced similar symptoms in his right leg and decided to aggressively pursue amputation alternatives to avoid having to live in a wheelchair. He was referred to Dr. Walker, who was able to save Sevante's leg with CLiRpath. Today, Sevante is virtually pain free.

"After my first amputation, I would have done anything to avoid a second," said Sevante. "Had I not asked for an alternative, I fear I was on track for the loss of another limb. This would have meant the beginning of the end for me."


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Source:PRACO


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