Saturday, August 11, 2012

How do I prepare?

How do I prepare?
Your physician will perform a physical examination to determine whether your limb can be saved or if you need an amputation. He or she will check you for:
  • Fever
  • Cool skin near your wound
  • Extremely painful skin
  • Wound odor
  • Infected or non-healing sores or wounds
Your physician will also arrange for tests to see how well blood is reaching your limbs. These tests may include blood pressure tests, duplex ultrasound, and angiography. Sometimes computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging is used.
If you have any other conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, poor kidney function, or infections, your physician will discuss with you how to treat them to get you in the best condition. Your physician will also test your physical strength, balance, and coordination to assess your potential for rehabilitation. If you are going to use an artificial limb, sometimes your physician may arrange for you to be measured for the device before your operation. This way, your artificial limb will be ready as soon as you recover. Often, however, your physician may advise waiting until your incision is healed adequately before getting your artificial limb. You also may receive counseling before your surgery to help you adapt to the loss of your natural limb.
Your physician will discuss with you whether to reduce or stop any medications that might increase your risk of bleeding or other complications. If you have any allergies to anesthesia, pain medications, or antibiotics, you should tell your physician at this time.

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