Amputation Rates Soar In San Diego. Recently a study was published on the amount of amputations done in california and san diego. The data shows that San Diego has the highest amputation rate in california. This is a disturbing trend that needs to be addressed. What is the cause of this and how can this be altered to have less amputations. Some wanted to postulate that since more people have insurance that they are getting more care. That does not align with reality . When one needs an amputation they will get it weather or not they have insurance. The cost of an amputation can be devastating to the
individual. This encompasses the physical , psychological and emotional cost. I would like to postulate that there are a few reasons for this increase. My opinions are a result of running a practice dedicated to limb preservation and salvage. Being that diabetes is the number one reason for amputations patient education is vital in preventing amputations. However in today’s day of decreased doctor pay and forcing doctors to see more patients daily, it cuts down on the time dedicated to patient education.
Next is the physician’s lack of knowing when and who to refer a patient to. Half of my practice is based on patients coming in and telling me that one or two more doctors told them they need their leg amputated. They want to know if i can save it. More often than not I can. Many Physicians will not know if the issue is a vascular issue or a podiatry issue and will make the wrong referral. I have a very close relationship around town with different vascular groups , and we work closely together to save limbs. Also the lack of involving an infectious disease specialist can be detrimental to getting the patient better.
Amputation Rates Soar In San Diego
Patients need to be their own best advocate, If you are told you need an amputation don’t be afraid to get another opinion. Make sure your surgeon is dedicated to limb preservation.
Lastly , not all amputations are bad. Sometimes removing a toe can save the leg. Sometimes removing a leg can save a life.
Here is a link to the article that has the data on amputation rates in San Diego and California http://www.kpbs.org/news/2017/sep/21/diabetes-related-amputations-significantly-califor/