Above Elbow Amputations Surgery
· Amputation surgery involves surgical removal of whole or part of a limb (toe, foot, hand, finger, arm, leg).
· Some of the common types of amputation surgeries are hindquarter amputation, forequarter amputation, leg amputation, below knee amputation, above knee amputation, finger amputation, foot amputation and above elbow amputation
Reasons for Amputation:
Some of the common reasons for the need of an amputation surgery are poor circulation of blood due to damaged or narrowed arteries , cancer tumor in the bone or muscle of the limb, severe injuries from accidents or burns, frostbite, serious infection , nerve tissue thickening.
WHY THE NEED FOR SURGERY
Amputation surgery is usually required in following cases:
1) To prevent the spread of a serious infection from the already infected part of the limb.
2) To prevent the spread of gangrene.
3) When there has been a severe trauma to the limbs due to burns, accidents, etc.
4) When the limb is deformed completely and there is limited or no movement altogether.
· Unless the amputation is not done in an emergency, a thorough assessment is done before performing the amputation surgery.
· A complete medical examination of the patient would be done along with psychological assessment, the condition and functionality of the healthy limb would be evaluated
· Also requirement of any additional provisions after the surgery will be discussed by the surgeon.
· It is advisable to hire a physiotherapist before the surgery who will assist the patient in the post-operative care.
· If the patient is looking for prosthetic limbs, a detailed discussion regarding the type and function of the same must be done with the surgeon and the prosthetist.
WHAT TO EXPECT
· The procedure for an amputation surgery differs according to the limb or extremity being amputated and as per the patient’s general health.
· The patient is generally hospitalized for five to ten days, as per the criticality of the amputation surgery.
· The amputation surgery is conducted either under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.
· During the amputation surgery, the surgeon removes all the damaged tissue, crushed bone and smoothens the uneven areas of the bone.
· He then seals off the blood vessels and nerves, cuts and shapes the muscles so that the end of the limb can easily get a prosthetic (if required).
· After the amputation surgery, for the first few days the patient is given oxygen through a mask and fluids through the glucose drip.
· A small flexible tube (urinary catheter) is used to drain the urine out from the bladder so that there is no need for the patient to get up for urination.
· The area of amputation will be painful and therefore painkillers will be administered to tackle the same.
· Sometimes local anesthetics are also given at the site of amputation when the pain is unbearable.
· The physiotherapist will assist and teach certain exercises to prevent blood clots and improve the blood supply during the recovery time in the hospital.
· Swelling near the area of amputation is very common and will last for few weeks even after discharge.
· Compression garments will be given by the surgeon which will help reduce the swelling, reduce the pain and will give shape and support to the limb.