Gangrene is a condition that can occur in any part of the body where a lack of oxygen-rich blood is observed, this is because inadequacy causes the tissues to die. The disease occurs more commonly on parts such as feet, legs, and toes because they are the most distant, taking the heart as the reference point.
Who is More Likely to Get Gangrene on the Foot?
Dry gangrene develops slowly, it usually affects the patients who are also victims of Peripheral Artery Disease because of diabetes or/and smoking. This is so because both diabetics and smokers are notably more at risk of developing PAD.
In PAD, the arteries are obstructed with plaque, which leads to poor blood circulation, a decrease in the healthy flow of blood, and the risk of the development of Critical Limb Ischemia. Patients that have PAD are more at risk to develop gangrene because the blood circulation to this body part is poor, which causes tissue death, leading to gangrene.
What are the symptoms?
One of the most commonly experienced symptoms is discoloration of toes or feet. The foot, which has been affected, would look as if it has been “decayed”. If not treated just as it begins to develop, in the later stages the skin would start to turn darker and would dry out.
Other common symptoms include:
- Shriveled and dry skin
- Changes in color – from blue to black
- Numb and cold skin
- A clear distinction between damaged and healthy skin
- Odored discharge from the leaking sores
- Pain in the affected areas on touching or walking
- Loss of sensations in the foot
- Shiny skin before shedding
- Skin in that particular region is cold
Risks of having a gangrene foot
As a gangrene specialist doctor says, it is important to treat the condition in time, otherwise, it could lead to some serious irretrievable and fatal damage to your foot. It is important to note that the disease spreads at a very fast pace and causes death to tissues. This is why it is important for all patients that have PAD to always be in close contact with a medical team and seek assistance as soon as the first sign is noticed.
Another major risk is amputation. Sometimes amputation is the only opinion left for stopping the spread and the removal of the dead tissues. Moreover, amputation, in addition to making the patient handicapped, puts the patient’s life at risk. According to the statistics, the death rate post major amputation is strikingly high, causing the death of 71% of patients within 3 years.
Look for the warning signs
Since the pace of spreading is dangerously fast, the patient needs to take notice of the very first signs so that the spread could be stopped and the foot could be treated on time.
Examine your feet every day for warning signs like sores, cuts, swellings, skin breaks, redness, or discharge.
Get your feet checked by a specialist at least once every year.
Attempting to restore blood flow for treating gangrene
Gangrene, a dead tissue, occurs due to severe poor circulation of the blood. In such a case, restoring the blood flow should be immediately done to save the foot or toes from amputation.
In case you find out that you have PAD and gangrene, the ideal treatment for it would be to improve the blood flow to reverse the symptoms. In order to improve blood flow towards the arteries present on the lower limbs, make sure you choose the right doctor for the treatment.
This treatment can be in the form of minimally invasive angioplasty and stenting (if needed) or bypass surgery.
The skilled and experienced doctors at Vascular Centre, are among the best vascular doctor in Bangalore for the treatment of gangrene. This team will be able to advise you as to the appropriate way forward.