Amputations Specialist

Tower Wound Care Centers -  - Wound Care Specialist

Tower Wound Care Centers

Wound Care Specialists located in Cedars Sinai Medical Towers, Los Angeles, CA & Encino, CA

When damage to the leg, foot, or toes is very severe, the patient may need an amputation. At Tower Wound Care Center, our doctors are skilled at providing lower limb amputations and can help patients from three locations in Los Angeles, Encino, and Santa Monica, CA.

Amputations Q & A

What are amputations?

Leg, foot, or toe amputation is the removal of a leg, foot, or the toes from a person’s body. These body parts are referred to as the extremities. Amputations are performed as a surgical operation.

Why is the procedure performed?

An amputation of a lower limb is performed when there is:

  • Severe trauma to the limb because of an accident
  • Lack of blood flow to the limb
  • Infections which do not heal or become worse and cannot be controlled
  • Tumors of the lower limb
  • Severe burns or frostbite on the limbs
  • Wounds which will not heal
  • Loss of function

What should I do prior to the procedure?

There will be certain things that a patient needs to do to prepare for an amputation. Patients should tell the doctor:

  • What medications are being taken, even non-prescription medicines
  • If they have been drinking a large amount of alcohol

In the days prior to surgery, patients may need to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin (Coumadin), and any other medicines which hinder blood clotting. Patients should also ask the doctor which medicines should still be taken on the day of surgery. They should also quit smoking. Diabetics should eat and take their medications as normal until the day of surgery. On the day, patients will typically be asked to avoid drinking or eating anything for 8 to 12 hours prior to the surgery. Medications to be taken that day should be ingested with a small sip of water. The home will also need to be prepared, patients should:

  • Plan for the appropriate help which will be needed by patients when they come home.
  • Arrange for a family member or friend to assist them. Or they can request a home health aide to come into their home.
  • Ensure that the bathroom and the rest of the house are safe for them to move around such as removing tripping hazards like throw rugs.
  • Ensure that they will be able to get in and out of the house safely.

How can I prevent an amputation?

Proper foot care is the best way to ensure that a small problem does not progress to a greater one requiring amputation. Patients should include the following in their hygiene and routine habits:

  • Inspect feet each day.
  • Wash feet each day.
  • Do not remove calluses or other foot injuries own your own.
  • Trim the toenails carefully and straight across.
  • Do not go barefoot.
  • Always wear clean, dry socks.
  • Buy shoes which fit correctly.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Schedule frequent foot checkups, especially if diabetic.
  • Take foot injuries seriously.


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