Diabetes is a disease that affects many of the body parts like nerves, skin, kidney, eyes etc. Lack of proper blood circulation and nerve damages affects the extremities of the body and make the feet susceptible to skin sores. Skin sores or ulcers if left unattended may worsen leading to further complications.
Severe ulcer bring on tissue and bone damages and may even lead to amputation of the affected part. Proper diabetes management that includes good diet, blood sugar monitoring and management, exercise, medication and foot care helps to avoid foot ulcers and amputation.
Ways to Treat Diabetes Amputations
Amputation is usually done after administering anesthesia to the patient. Doctors remove the affected parts along with a layer of healthy tissues to prevent the infection from spreading. Before undergoing the operation, patients should quit smoking and should keep the blood pressure, lungs and heart problems under control. They should also reduce their weight and should bring their blood sugar level under control.
After amputation, doctor will dress your wound in first 24 hours and thereafter at every two to three days interval for about two weeks.
By the end of second week the patient will be almost free of pain and will be discharged from the hospital. But will have to visit the clinic every month to ensure that the wounds are healing properly.
Wound Care at Home
You can do the dressing at home but do it only with the consent of your doctor. Before dressing the wound, wash the hands with warm water and soap and pat dry with clean towel. Spread a clean towel beneath the wound and remove the old dressing. If the old dressing is stuck on the wound, use some warm water to wet it and loosen the dressing gently after two to three minutes.
Wash the hands again and pat dry with a towel. Clean the wound with a wet and clean gauze pad and start the cleaning from one end of the wound. Ensure that you remove all the blood clots; however the injured area should not be scrubbed, as it may trigger bleeding. Use a dry and clean towel or gauze pad to pat dry the wound and also check whether there is any swelling, drainage or redness in or around the wound.
Apply the prescribed medication over the wound first with adaptic dressing and then by gauze pad. Make sure that the dressing is put on lightly, as tight dressing reduces the blood circulation towards the wound and extend the healing period.
When to Seek Medical Assistance
If the wound looks reddish or skin in the injured areas is warm or if the skin around the wound is pulling away or if the wound is becoming dark with a foul smell, consult the doctor immediately to avoid further complications. Commonly seen complications of amputation include tissue necrosis, infection, bone erosion, stump edema, hematoma, dehiscence etc.
Always keep your blood sugar levels at normal and do physiotherapy to adjust with the change in the shape of your foot. Take a well-balanced diet designed especially for diabetic people and remain healthy.