Revascularization Surgery: Its Efficacy for Limb Salvage in Diabetic Foot

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The estimated prevalence of diabetes is 9.78% in Taiwan. The lifetime risk for patients with diabetes to have foot ulcers might be as high as 25%. About 15% of these patients require major limb amputation because of ischemia and infection. Peripheral artery disease is still a major problem involved in diabetic foot disease and the cause for major amputation despite an increase in the prevalence of revascularization surgery and new revascularization techniques over the past 20 years. We investigated the major limb amputation rates in patients with diabetic foot and critical limb ischemia who had undergone revascularization surgery in our hospital. The records of 42 patients who had undergone revascularization surgery for diabetic foot were retrospectively reviewed. Nineteen patients (45%) required major limb amputation despite revascularization. The affected limbs of only 15 patients (36%) were salvaged. Four patients died soon after surgery because of comorbidities, and another 4 were lost to follow-up. Two patients died from procedure-related sepsis, and overall perioperative mortality was 4.8%. Ten predictive risk factors (duration of diabetes, history of smoking, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cerebral vascular accident, contralateral amputation, end-stage renal disease, fever episode, wound infection severity score, and arterial obstruction level) were included for analysis. Although none was significant, long-duration diabetes (OR: 1.13), end-stage renal disease (OR: 10.02), wound infection (OR: 1.56), and infrapopliteal lesions (OR: 3.00) tended to be unfavorable predictive risk factors of limb amputation. Revascularization surgery is still potentially beneficial for these patients—eg, it decreases the contralateral limb amputation rate by 7.5%—if done early in high-risk patients.

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