21:59 - 4 May , 2021

Medical procedure



What is Amputations?

It is when a limb is partially or totally cut through surgery. It is due to medical needs to restore the patient’s health when there is no other therapeutic option or when no other procedures are possible due to the delicate state of the person.

Amputations should be practiced when we are faced with the following cases:

  • When there is a cancerous tumor that cannot be removed.
  • Poor blood circulation in the affected limb.
  • When the patient suffers from extremely serious injuries or trauma.
  • When having gangrene in any of the limbs.
  • Severe burns.
  • Freezing.
  • Uncontrollable infections.
  • Dysfunctional limbs.
  • Total numbness in the limb.
  • Injuries or wounds that do not heal.

More than 90% of amputations due to gangrene are due to diabetes, affecting, in most cases, the feet and legs, but it can also occur in the hands and arms.

Other conditions that cause gangrene are Raynaud’s and Buerger’s diseases.

It should be noted that amputation is not an option in all cases, since people with heart conditions, severe diabetes, or serious blood clotting problems are excluded.

Once the height of the cut has been defined by the surgeon, it is necessary to locate the place where there is a better blood supply to the limb so that the healing process is adequate. Subsequently, a circulation blockage is established in that area, the muscle tissues are separated and the bone is cut. Finally, the residual tissues are sutured.

When the amputation is completed, there is a significant risk that the wound may become infected, which can trigger an uncontrollable infection that requires another identical procedure to be carried out some time later to cut another piece at a higher point of the affected limb.

Preventive antibiotics are prescribed to avoid infection after surgery, and if there are no complications, the rehabilitation process should be started as soon as possible to start moving the stump and get used to the prosthesis.

Potential risks of amputation surgery:

  • Infections.
  • Clots.
  • Bleeding.
  • Breathing difficulties caused by anesthesia.
  • Joint contractures.
  • Wound healing problems.

Losing a limb is a traumatic experience, but today there are highly functional prostheses that allow amputees to overcome this disability and be able to lead a normal life as much as possible.

Rehabilitation after suffering an amputation is not short or easy, since it is very physically and psychologically demanding, so, in addition to a physical therapist, a psychologist and participation in amputee support groups that have lived or are living the experience is needed.

Likewise, it is common for amputated patients to suffer from phantom limb syndrome, which causes sensations of presence or pain in the missing limb.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Centros y departamentos relacionados:

Internal medicine
Radiology and Molecular Imaging
Clinical Laboratory


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  • Torres RX, Lezcano RSE, Barnés DJA. Complicaciones clínicas en los pacientes ingresados por pie diabético en el Instituto de Angiología. Revista Cubana de Angiología y Cirugía Vascular. 2021;22(1):1-15.
  • Torres PRS, Herrán MFS. Incidencia de amputación de extremidades secundaria a quemadura eléctrica en la Unidad de Quemados del Centro Médico Nacional «20 de Noviembre» ISSSTE. Cir Plast. 2014;24(2):75-81.
  • King-MartínezAC, Doger-EchegarayP, Hoyo-PérezLI. Identificación por imágenes del paciente con pie diabético del tipo de lesiones que requirieron o requerirán amputación. Acta Ortop Mex. 2020;34(2):77-80.

The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.